JD Sports to buy US sportswear retailer Finish Line

Deal snatches away a company in which Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct had built a stake

Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters


JD Sports Fashion agreed to buy US sportswear retailer Finish Line, expanding into the North American market and snatching away a company in which Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct International had built a stake.

The takeover agreement is valued at $13.50 per Finish Line share in cash, or a total of $558 million.

“This is a landmark day for JD and will be transformational for the business,” JD Sports executive chairman Peter Cowgill said in a statement Monday, calling the deal a step toward increasing the company’s global scale.

Due to the distinct geographies in which the two companies operate, JD Sports doesn’t see any significant adjustments in headcount, the company said. The deal represents a 28 per cent premium to the closing price of Finish Line’s shares on Friday.

Ashley’s Sports Direct International, a UK rival of JD Sports, is the second-largest shareholder in Indianapolis-based Finish Line, with a 9.9 per cent stake. Finish Line, which operates concessions in Macy’s department stores, is “thrilled” to partner with JD Sports, chief executive Sam Sato said in the statement. The acquisition is subject to the approval of JD Sports and Finish Line shareholders, with completion expected no earlier than June.