Jan 26, 2021
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JD Sports builds up war chest with new funding

Jan 26, 2021

A short statement from JD Sports on Tuesday morning suggested that the company has ambitious plans to make further acquisitions. 

Photo: Sandra Halliday

Headlined “Response to recent press speculation”, it said that it's “exploring additional funding options with a view to increasing its flexibility to invest in future strategic opportunities and that this may involve a non pre-emptive equity placing. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate”.

The statement came after Sky News had reported that it was considering a share placing of as much as £400 million. Share placings have been common among stock exchange-listed companies in the last year, with some following this course of action in order to shore up their finances and ensure survival, while others have done so to build up an acquisition war chest.

The latter case applies to JD Sports with the retailer being one of the stronger players in UK retail at present. It has already been extremely active on the acquisition front and recently acquired US business Shoe Palace plus indie retailer Wellgosh. 

Of course, what wasn't said in Tuesday’s statement is what it might be looking at at the moment and there has been speculation that it has linked up with America's Authentic Brands Group to target Arcadia’s key brands. But with widespread reports this week that Asos is the lead contender to buy the star labels in Arcadia's portfolio, it's unclear whether JD is still in the race. But it's obvious that the pandemic has created multiple opportunities and JD clearly wants to be ready to pounce when these arise.

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