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JD head for Finish Line.


JD Sports Fashion has revealed a 'landmark' deal to buy American retailer Finish Line for a nine-figure sum.

The group, which is based in Rochdale, is snapping up the firm for PS396m.

Finish Line is one of the largest retailers of premium multi-branded athletic footwear, apparel and accessories in the US. It has 556 stores across 44 states and Puerto Rico, and employs around 3,700 full-time and 9,300 parttime staff.

Finish Line reported revenues of PS1.3bn in the year ending March.

The buy-out is subject to the approval of both JD and Finish Line shareholders and could be done as early as June. Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD, said: "We are extremely excited to be joining up with Finish Line, a well-established US operator.

"The acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for JD to establish its market-leading multi-brand proposition in the world's largest athleisure market.

"It immediately offers a major presence in the US, a clear next step to further increase our global scale.

"Finish Line has many similarities to JD with a strong bricks and mortar offering complemented by an advanced and well-invested digital platform.

"We are looking forward to working with Finish Line's experienced management team to bring best-inclass retail theatre to the US "Our combined extensive knowledge of the retail market and our product and marketing relationships with global brand partners will benefit our customers, in turn supporting the continued future growth of JD.

"This is a landmark day for JD and will be transformational for the business."

Sam Sato, chief executive officer of Finish Line, said: "Finish Line has long admired JD and their commitment to serve customers with premium brands through a unique and innovative retail experience. We are thrilled to partner with them and look forward to realising the impact we will have on the marketplace together."

The Manchester office of Addleshaw Goddard - led by partner Roger Hart and including Martin O'Shea, Rabia Burton, Rachael Norris and Caroline Gray - advised JD Sports Fashion plc on the deal.

Barclays have also been advising JD Sports Fashion on the acquisition (M&A), as well as leading the financing in the UK, underwriting the PS400m RCF facility alongside HSBC.

Martin Souter, relationship director at Barclays, said: "We are really pleased to continue our longstanding relationship and support JD with this landmark and transformational acquisition."


JD executive chairman Peter Cowgill

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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Mar 27, 2018
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