Britain’s JD Sports buys Go Outdoors for 112 mln stg: Reuters

Nov 28 (Reuters) — British sportswear and fashion retailer JD Sports Fashion has purchased Go Outdoors for 112.3 million pounds ($140.4 million), it said on Monday, beefing-up its presence in the outdoor clothing market.

Based in Sheffield, northern England, Go Outdoors was founded in 1998 by Paul Caplan and John Graham and backed by YFM Equity Partners and, latterly, 3i Group.

Trading from 58 UK stores, mainly in out-of-town retail parks, it made a pretax profit of 4.9 million pounds on revenue of 202.2 million pounds in its 2015-16 year.

The acquisition will complement JD Sports’ existing interest in the outdoor market through its Blacks, Millets, Ultimate Outdoors and Tiso businesses, which had combined revenue of over 155 million pounds in 2015-16, trading from 182 stores.

It noted that the vast majority of the group’s existing outdoor stores are situated on the high street and therefore have minimal crossover with those of Go Outdoors.

JD Sports also assumed net debt of about 16 million pounds as part of the deal.

Following completion Caplan and Graham will leave the business.

Shares in JD Sports have risen 53 percent so far this year as the firm has traded robustly, in contrast to troubled rival Sports Direct. It reported record first-half results in September.

The stock closed at 319 pence on Friday, valuing the business at 3.1 billion pounds. ($1 = 0.8001 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young)