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Sports Direct owner Frasers Group will acquire one of the leading sports retailers in Germany, marking the latest expansion in the reach of Mike Ashley’s retail empire. 

The Flannels and House of Fraser owner told investors the acquisition of SportScheck will allow it to ‘grow its presence in Germany, one of the biggest sports markets in Europe’. 

SportScheck has over 75 years of expertise in sports retail, with 34 stores in prime city locations across Germany, revenue of approximately €350million (£303million), and a customer base of over 13 million visitors per year. 

The deal follows Frasers upping its stake in struggling online retailer Boohoo, while it has also built up Asos, AO World and Curry’s holdings.

The group also reported that the deal was subject to merger control clearance and it expects to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2024

The deal is still subject to regulatory approval but it is expected to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2024. 

SportScheck will benefit from Frasers’ elevation strategy, the group said, which sees investment in store concepts, digital capabilities and brand relationships. 

Frasers’ Sports Direct is also a strategic partner for major brands like Nike and Adidas, which will ‘assist in its international expansion strategy’, it added. 

Michael Murray, CEO of Frasers Group, said: ‘Acquiring the leading sporting goods retailer in Germany is a big step in our journey to becoming the number one sports retailer in EMEA.

‘We are delighted to do this with the full support of major global brand partners, Adidas and Nike. Growing and expanding our Sports business is a key focus area in becoming an international retail business. 

‘The German market represents a huge opportunity for us, and we look forward to bringing our experience, resources and relationships to strengthen the SportScheck business.’

The deal marks the latest in a flurry of Frasers dealmaking activity.

The group is now the largest shareholder of struggling online retailer Boohoo, while it has also taken significant stakes in Asos, AO World and Curry’s.  

Frasers Group has an extensive history of investing in distressed businesses, sometimes acquiring them out of administration, such as House of Fraser, womenswear seller Missguided and tailor Gieves & Hawkes.

This has continued ever since now-chairman Ashley, the former owner of Newcastle United Football Club, was replaced as chief executive in May 2022 by his son-in-law Mr Murray.

Bjørn Gulden, CEO of Adidas AG, said Mr Murray’s ‘elevation of Frasers Group and Sports Direct has been impressive’. 

He added: ‘The acquisition of SportScheck is another big commitment to the sports industry and a natural evolution in their strategy of becoming a global player. We are committed and excited to support Sports Direct on their journey.’ 

Fraser Group shares were down roughly 0.1 per cent to 804.50p in morning trading on Tuesday. 


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