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Sports Direct raises stakes in two US retail brands

RBR Staff Writer Published 08 June 2017

British sporting goods retailer Sports Direct has raised its stakes in American retailers Iconix Brand Group and Finish Line with undisclosed investments.

In the New York-based Iconix Brand Group, Sports Direct has increased its stake to 13.25% by buying 7,561,908 shares. Iconix Brand is a brand management company and owner of a range of global consumer brands like umbro, Cannon, Royal Velvet, Candie’s, Pony and others.

In another transaction, Sports Direct has expanded its stake in American footwear retail chain Finish Line to 18.85% by buying 7,568,143 shares.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Finish Line is a retailer of athletic shoes, apparel and accessories, and has about 950 branded locations in several US malls, shops and department stores.

A statement regarding the two transactions from Sports Direct read: “The main rationale for these stakes is to allow Sports Direct to hopefully build a relationship and develop commercial partnerships with the relevant parties. They also help the Company to build relationships with key suppliers and brands.”

Sports Direct forayed into the US market by buying two struggling retail chains for $101m in April, reported The Guardian.

Via a bankruptcy process of Eastern Outfitters, the British retailer bought 50 stores doing business as Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports, which are primarily into selling of sports and casual wear.

Established in 1982 and owned by Mike Ashley, Sports Direct is headquartered in Derbyshire. It boasts of a range of sports, fitness, fashion and lifestyle fascias and brands across its inventory which can be found in about 473 stores in the UK and 260 stores across Europe.


A Sports Direct's branch in Bradford, England. Photo: courtesy of Betty Longbottom/Wikipedia.