JD Sports Fashion to acquire US retailer The Finish Line

London - JD Sports Fashion PLC is set to acquire US athletic retailer The Finish Line, Inc. in a deal worth approximately 558 million US dollars (396 million pounds).

The British retailer has entered into a merger agreement, which sees the retailer acquire 100 percent of the issued and outstanding Finish Line shares at a price of 13.50 US dollars (9.53 pounds) per share. The Finish Line is one of the biggest retailers of premium multi-branded athletic apparel, footwear and accessories in the US.

Following the deal, JD Sports aims to focus on offering its "highly differentiated multichannel retail proposition" to the US market, the leading athletic market as it increases its global presence. "We are extremely excited to be joining up with Finish Line, a well-established US operator," said Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman of JD in a statement.

JD Sports to take over leading US athletic retailer The Finish Line

"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 strong bricks and mortar offering complemented by an advanced and well-invested digital platform," he added.

Based in Indianapolis, Finish Line operates more than 550 stores across the US and in Puerto Rico as well as its online platform. The athletic retailer also operates 375 branded concessions of athletic footwear in department store Macy's, in addition to nearly 200 unbranded outlets in their stores.

"Finish Line has long admired JD and their commitment to serve customers with premium brands through a unique and innovative retail experience," said Sam Sato, Chief Executive Officer of Finish Line on the deal. "We are thrilled to partner with them and look forward to realizing the impact we will have on the marketplace together." For the year ending February 25, The Finish Line reported revenues of 1.84 billion US dollars (1.3 billion pounds) and a profit before tax of 54 million US dollars (38 million pounds).

Employing 3,700 full-time employees and 9,300 part-time workers, The Finish Line's executive team is set to remain on board following the acquisition. "We are looking forward to working with Finish Line’s experienced management team to bring best in class retail theatre to the US," added Cowgill. "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."

The merger agreement is subject to the approval of The Finish Line and JD Sports shareholders and is expected to complete no earlier than June, 2018.

Photo: By ReissOmari (Own work Reiss) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL ( http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons


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