Frasers Group will buy the German SportsSheck
- The group expects to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2024
Sports Direct owner Frasers Group is to acquire one of Germany’s leading sports retailers, marking the latest expansion in the reach of Mike Ashley’s retail empire.
The owner of flannels and House of Fraser told investors that the acquisition of SportScheck will allow it to “increase its presence in Germany, one of the largest sports markets in Europe.”
SportScheck has over 75 years of experience in sports retail, with 34 stores in prime locations in cities across Germany, revenues of approximately €350m (£303m) and a customer base of over 13 million visitors a year.
The group also reported that the deal was subject to merger control clearance and expects to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2024.
The deal is still subject to regulatory approval but is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.
SportScheck will benefit from Frasers’ lift-up strategy, the group said, which sees investments in store concepts, digital capabilities and brand relationships.
Frasers’ Sports Direct is also a strategic partner for big brands such as Nike and Adidas, which will “help in their international expansion strategy”, he added.
Michael Murray, CEO of Frasers Group, said: “The acquisition of Germany’s leading sporting goods retailer is a big step on our path to becoming the number one sports retailer in EMEA.
‘We are delighted to do this with the full support of leading global brand partners, Adidas and Nike. Growing and expanding our sports business is a key focus area in becoming an international retail business.
“The German market represents a great opportunity for us and we look forward to bringing our experience, resources and relationships to strengthen SportScheck’s business.”
The deal marks the latest in a flurry of negotiating activity by Fraser.
The group is now the largest shareholder in online retailer Boohoo, while it has also acquired significant stakes in Asos, AO World and Curry’s.
Frasers Group has a long track record of investing in distressed companies, sometimes acquiring them out of administration, such as House of Fraser, womenswear retailer Missguided and tailor Gieves & Hawkes.
This has continued since now-chairman Ashley, former owner of Newcastle United Football Club, was replaced as chief executive in May 2022 by his son-in-law Mr Murray.
Bjørn Gulden, chief executive of Adidas AG, said: “Murray’s rise of Frasers Group and Sports Direct has been impressive.”
He added: ‘The acquisition of SportScheck is another great commitment to the sports industry and a natural evolution in its strategy to become a global player. “We are committed and excited to support Sports Direct on their journey.”
Fraser Group Shares They were down about 0.1 per cent at 804.50 pence in morning trading on Tuesday.
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