May 29, 2013
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Sports Direct expands with Austrian and Baltic acquisitions

May 29, 2013

Sports Direct are plotting a European expansion. The British company has just entered into an agreement to take a 51% stake in Austrian company EAG, which operates Sports Eybl & Sports Experts. The acquisition will give Sports Direct an almost 25% share in the Austrian sporting goods market.

At the most recent edition of ISPO in Munich this February, rumours circled that Decathlon-owners Oxylane or Intersport Germany could be potential takers for Sports Eybl & Sports Experts, which has recently gone through tough financial times. As part of the agreement, Sports Direct will pay 10 million euros to current shareholders and will invest 30 million in subordinated debt. Sports Direct expects the deal to be finalized in July.

EAG operates a network of 30 Eybl stores (one of which is in Germany) and 28 Sports Experts stores with retail spaces ranging from 2000 to 7500 metres squared. For the end of year closed August 31, EAG reported annual turnover of 324 million euros.

Heading slightly more north on the map, Sport Direct has taken a 60% stake in Sportland International Group (SIG), a sporting equipment specialist in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. The company operates not only the brand Sportland, but also retail chains Timberland, Nike and Nike Outlets. SIG generates annual revenue of over 60 million euros and has a network of 80 stores. Sports Direct themselves operate Dunlop, Donnay, Karrimor and Firetrap stores.

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