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Sports Direct wins battle for No Fear

Sportswear retailer Sports Direct has seized control streetwear brand No Fear after a battle with American bankruptcy courts.

The retailer won the six-month battle after the brand hit the buffers earlier on this year.

Since February, No Fear has been protected by US bankruptcy laws after court papers filed said that No Fear International was worth less than $2m (£1.2m) based on its “lack of profitability”.

In 2005 the sportswear chain, founded by Mike Ashley, signed a joint venture its parent company No Fear Retail Stores Inc to develop the brand outside of the US and Canada. It paid $12.5m (£7.7m) for a 50% stake in the brand.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Sports Direct has since negotiated an $11.1m (£6.8m) payment that has effectively given the retailer full ownership of the brands worldwide intellectual rights.

No Fear is not the first American brand Ashley has bought as Sports Direct also acquired US sportswear brand Everlast in 2007.

In July, Ashley paid £7m for a majority stake in branded fashion business USC and designer chain Cruise from Sir Tom Hunter, and is understood to be plotting to bolt on a raft of premium retail businesses to his discount-led Sports Direct to play catch-up and compete with JD’s fashion portfolio, which includes Bank, Scotts and Cecil Gee.

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