Frasers Group acquires JD Sports’ premium fashion brands

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has announced the acquisition of a number of premium fashion brands in which JD Sports Fashion has stakes.

The company has taken on 15 of the group’s dealers via shares owned by JD, with all debt to be transferred to subsidiaries of Frasers Group.

Brands included in the deal are Tessuti, Base Childrenswear, Missy Empire, Choice, Clothingsites, Cricket, Giulio, Kids Cavern, Nicholas Deakins, Pretty Green, Prevu Studio, Rascal Clothing, Scotts, Watch Shop and Topgrade Sportswear.

In a regulatory filing, Frasers said the amount to be paid for the acquisition of the shares and debt amounts to £47.5m, which will be funded from the group’s existing cash resources.

Completion of the acquisition of several of the remaining businesses, such as Tessuti and Rascal Clothing, is expected to take place in early 2023.

It comes as Frasers Group continues to expand its portfolio towards a more premium positioning, a strategy the company has increasingly focused on since the appointment of new chief executive Michael Murray.

The group has carried out a number of acquisitions in the past year, including acquisitions of Missguided, Studio Retail and I Saw It First, as well as a number of stake increases in the likes of Hugo Boss and N Brown.

JD Sports to focus on sports portfolio

The latest acquisition follows the implementation of a strategic review by JD Sports Group chief executive Régis Schultz, who initially said he was undertaking the process in an effort to focus more fully on opportunities across the rest of the group.

In a release, Schultz said: “JD is rightly recognized for its laser focus on the customer, and we are convinced that the most important opportunities lie in the continued international development of the group’s global sports fashion businesses.

“We are delighted to have agreed the sale of these attractive but non-core brands and I would like to express my sincere thanks to all colleagues in the businesses involved in the transaction for their hard work and contribution to the group over the year.”

JD is now set to put all its attention on the international and digital expansion of its core premium sports fashion brands, which include JD Sports itself, as well as Size?, Foot Patrol and Shoe Palace, among others.

According to the group, the sale will result in a non-cash extraordinary cost in the annual accounts for the period to 28 January 2023 of approx. 100 million pounds.

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