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JD Sports Fashion acquires Go Outdoors

JD Sports Fashion has acquired Go Outdoors for £112.3m, taking on its net debt of around £16m.

JD already owns outdoorwear chains Blacks, Millets, Ultimate Outdoors and Tiso, whose stores are mainly on the high street – whereas Go Outdoors stores are largely located in out-of-town retail parks.

Based in Sheffield, Go Outdoors was established in 1998 by Paul Caplan and John Graham, and backed by YFM Equity Partners and, latterly, 3i Group. It grew from a single store into to a 58-strong nationwide chain.

It made sales of £202.2m and a pre-tax profit of £4.9m for the year to 31 January.

Caplan and Graham will leave the business following the completion of the sale.

“Go Outdoors is a great addition to our existing outdoor business,” said JD Sports Fashion executive chairman Peter Cowgill.

“The minimal overlap in store locations and its out-of-town, one-stop retailer approach complements the work we have done on the high street with Blacks and Millets.”

As reported by Drapers earlier this month, Blacks, which has more than 70 stores in the UK, has recently launched a new store fit complete with digital screens and self-service kiosks.  

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