JD Sports buys American sportswear retailer Finish Line

JD Sports buys American sportswear retailer Finish Line

"We are extremely excited to be joining up with Finish Line, a well-established USA operator", said JD executive chairman Peter Cowgill.

Growing demand for branded sports shoes and clothes has enabled JD Sports to overtake Sports Direct (SPD.L) as Britain's leading sportswear retailer by market value.

Shares in JD Sports reportedly jumped as much as 3.9% in early trading following today's announcement, while Finish Line shares jumped as much as 30 percent to $13.74 in early trading, according to Bloomberg.

And while there may be short-term benefits for Foot Locker, as JD Sports intends to follow through with Finish Line's plans to close under-performing stores, in the long run it could create a stronger company that will be more of a threat, she added.

The Finish Line executive team will continue forward under the new ownership. Public Employees Retirement System of OH increased its position in shares of Finish Line by 15.9% during the 2nd quarter.

The investigation concerns whether Finish Line's board failed to satisfy their duties to the Company's shareholders, including whether the board adequately pursued alternatives to the acquisition and whether the board obtained the best price possible for the Company's shares of common stock.

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Completion is expected to take place no earlier than June 2018 with a "small incremental positive contribution" expected to JD's results and earnings per share in the period to 2 February 2019.

It immediately gains the benefit of a significant physical and online retail presence and increases the importance of the company to its major global brand partners.

The combined purchasing power of Finish Line and JD, coupled with the strategic alignment with major global sportswear brands in North America, is expected, on completion, to enable the enlarged group to bring a highly differentiated multi-channel retail proposition to the United States market.

This values Finish Line's total equity at about $558m. Barclays, HSBC Bank and PNC Bank, National Association provided committed financing to JD for the transaction. The purchase price is below the stock's 52-week high of $16.38, and well below a five-year high of roughly $32 per share.

JS Sports has Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLC, Addleshaw Goddard LLC and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP as its legal advisors for the deal.

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