The Daily Telegraph - Business

JD Sports snaps up Spanish online retailer for £120m

- By Laura Onita

JD SPORTS has completed a £120m swoop for a smaller rival in Spain that sells cycling, running and outdoor equipment.

The deal for Deporvilla­ge, a Catalonia-based online retailer, is the latest in a string of recent acquisitio­ns for the company, both in the United States and Europe.

The FTSE 100 company is buying 80pc of the firm, with its current management team retaining the rest. The move is designed to help JD Sports grow key sports categories and complement its existing Sprinter and Sport Zone offering.

Deporvilla­ge made sales of €117.8m (£101.1m) and pre-tax profit of €7.7m for the year to the end of December.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports, said there was scope to expand internatio­nally.

The executive was forced to say in recent weeks that he intended to stay in charge amid growing speculatio­n that the firm was stepping up succession planning after pressure from investors to do so. He was appointed executive chairman in 2004. The share price has jumped by more than 300pc in the last five years alone to 928p.

JD Sports is facing an investor rebellion on Thursday at its annual meeting with shareholde­rs after handing Mr Cowgill a £4.3m bonus, despite the company’s use of government support during the pandemic.

He has defended the payout, saying he had only received one long-term incentive payout in eight years.

The company’s share price rose to a record high last week after Nike – one of its key suppliers – reported better than expected fourth-quarter results.

In February, it paid £360m for DTLR, a Baltimore-based sportswear chain, following its £243m takeover of West Coast trainer retailer Shoe Palace.

 ??  ?? Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, said there was scope to expand the business internatio­nally
Peter Cowgill, executive chairman, said there was scope to expand the business internatio­nally

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