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JD Sports reveals European expansion plans –

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JD Sports has announced its plans to fulfill growth ambitions, including expanding in Europe and acquiring the French sportswear brand Courir.

The group has proposed the acquisition of Courir, which it says is “held in high regard in the European sportswear community”. On 8 May, the group entered into exclusive negotiations with the owners of Groupe Courir in regards to the potential acquisition of 100% of its shared capital with an enterprise value of £452 million (€520 million).

The business is currently majority owned by Equistone Partners Europe, which acquired Courir in 2018 following the carve-out from Groupe Go Sport.

The transaction will need to be notified to the European Commission in accordance with European Union Law. Completion of the acquisition is therefore conditional on receipt of merger control approval, which is expected to take place in the second half of 2023.

Courir is a big player in the European sports footwear and apparel sector with 313 stores across six countries in Europe as well as a further 36 stores that trade under franchise agreements as Courir in North West Africa, the Middle East and French overseas territories.

This proposed acquisition is said to be in line with JD’s growth strategy as Courir operates stores with a primary focus on female consumers. Leveraging Courir’s extensive knowledge in managing female-oriented stores would significantly broaden the group’s capabilities and global opportunities.

For the 52-week period that ended 31 December 2022, Courir reported impressive revenues of £530.7 miillion (€609.8 million).

JD Sports set out its growth plans at its Capital Markets Event in February of this year. Régis Schultz, CEO of JD, said: “The exciting developments that we are announcing today reflect the strategic priorities that we highlighted on the day.”

Schultz continued: “Securing greater control over the long-term development of JD and prioritising the development of the JD brand is a key pillar in our growth strategy in Europe. It will give us simpler decision making which will allow us to use our assets with more efficiency. At the same time, it will considerably simplify the group operations.”

Since the arrival of Schultz at JD Sports last September, the business has turned its focus to its core market of sportswear and has sold a number of non-core fashion businesses, including Giulio, Tessuti and Cricket, to rival group Frasers.

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