JD Sports shares fall 10% as Pentland sells £177m stake

Shares of Bury-based FTSE 100 retailer JD Sports Fashion Plc fell about 10% on Wednesday following reports that its largest investor Pentland Group sold shares in JD Sports worth about £177.6 million.

The reports said Pentland, which also owns brands including Speedo and Berghaus, sold 24 million shares in JD Sports Fashion at 740p each.

Pentland retains a stake of more than 50% in JD Sports Fashion.

JD Sports shares fell almost 10% to around 727p to give the retail giant a current stock market value of around £7.8 billion.

Pentland chairman Stephen Rubin said: “Pentland is committed to remaining a long-term majority shareholder in JD at the same time as growing our portfolio of sports, outdoor and fashion brands through organic investment and acquisitions.

“Today’s share sale enables us to further this strategy by realising a small portion of our shareholding in JD to fund future investment activity, as well as increasing the free float to meet the increasing interest expressed in JD by other shareholders.”

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Despite the sale, Pentland still remains a majority shareholder in the business, and the shares are still up over 100% year to date, which doesn’t seem too bad a return.”