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Sports Direct to sell Dunlop

Sports Direct has entered into an agreement to sell sportswear brand Dunlop to Japanese firm Sumitomo Rubber Industries for $137.5m (£112m).

The retailer owns the wholesale and licencing business for the brand. It currently operates in the UK, Europe, Asia 9except Japan, Korea and Taiwan0 the US and Canada.

For the year to 24 April 2016, Dunlop had combined revenue of £42.64m, gross assets of £41.76m and profit before tax of £4.06m.

As part of the deal Sumitomo Rubber Industries will give Sports Direct a royalty free licence to continue to use the Dunlop brand for workwear and safety wear in its stores.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries has the option to acquire these rights in the future subject to certain mechanical conditions for $12.5m (£10.2m).

The retailer said the move was “in line with Sports Direct’s aspiration to become the Selfridges of sports retail”. Sports Direct said it needed to “prioritise the core UK business and relationships with third party brands” and does not currently have the bandwidth to develop and manage international brands simultaneously.

Sports Direct will use the proceeds of the sale to strengthen its third party brand relationships.

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