JD Sports buys US-based Finish Line for £400m

Bury-based JD Sports Fashion said it agreed to acquire US-based The Finish Line for roughly £400 million.

Finish Line is one of the largest retailers of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories in the United States.

Finish Line is also the exclusive retailer of athletic shoes for Macy’s.

“The acquisition offers the company the opportunity to expand its market leading elevated proposition into the most significant global market,” said JD Sports.

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

For Finish Line’s year ended March 3, 2018, it had revenues of $1.84 billion (£1.30 billion). It employs around 3,700 full time and around 9,300 part-time staff.

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

“The acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for JD to establish its market leading multi-brand proposition in the world’s largest athleisure market.

“It immediately offers a major presence in the US, a clear next step to further increase our global scale.

“Finish Line has many similarities to JD with a strong bricks and mortar offering complemented by an advanced and well-invested digital platform.  

“We are looking forward to working with Finish Line’s experienced management team to bring best in class retail theatre to the US.

“Our combined extensive knowledge of the retail market and our product and marketing relationships with global brand partners will benefit our customers, in turn supporting the continued future growth of JD.

“This is a landmark day for JD and will be transformational for the business.”

JD Sports would pay $13.50 per Finish Line share in cash, a premium of 28% to the closing price on March 23.

The acquisition is subject to the approval of shareholders of both firms.

The acquisition is to be funded via a new revolving credit facility for JD Sports and a new asset backed lending facility secured against Finish Line’s inventory and receivables.