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JD acquires Spanish sports chain and Cecil Gee stores

JD Sports Fashion has acquired Spanish fashion and footwear chain Sprinter and eight Cecil Gee stores from menswear group Moss Bros.

JD has bought the trading assets of Spanish sports chain Sprinter via a 50.1% stake in a newly incorporated company called JD Sprinter Holdings. Sprinter was founded in 1981 and sells branded and own-brand footwear, clothing and accessories as well as sportswear equipment and lifestyle casualwear.

JD will invest €20m into the business which has 47 stores in Andalucia and Levante and is based in Elche is South East Spain.

In the year ended December 31, 2009 Sprinter had a consolidated turnover of €80m and pre-tax profit of of €2.1m. The net assets at acquisition are about €5m.The remaining 49.9% of Sprinter is owned equally between its founding family, the Segarra family, and investors the Bernad family.

JD will also roll out a more fashion orientated retail fascia in Spain in line with its UK format.

Separately, JD has also acquired the business and assets of eight Cecil Gee stores as well as the Cecil Gee name and stock from Moss Bros for £1.7m. JD will trade the stores with an “enchanced but similar premium branded offer”. The move is in line with Moss Bros’ strategy to focus on its core Moss business.  (For more on the Moss Bros disposal and current trading figures click here)

JD has been on the acquisition trail in recent months, snapping up brands including menswear brand Peter Werth and young fashion brand Fenchurch, as well as international sports chains Champion in the Republic of Ireland and Chausport in France.

JD executive chairman Peter Cowgill said: “We are very pleased to announce these two acquisitions which both result from our strategy of selectively expanding our European retail presence and increasing our exposure to a broader portfolio of premium brands. We look forward to working with the very experienced and knowledgeable management team in Spain and bringing our own expertise to bear as we continue to develop JD’s presence in Europe.

“At the same time, the acquisition of the Cecil Gee stores provides us with a low risk springboard for the development of a well funded profitable premium brand fashion chain.”

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