JD Sports Fashion has has taken control of the Australian distribution company for rugby brand Canterbury, and bought a majority stake in its New Zealand distributor.

The move is a futher step by JD to increase its stake in the rugby clothing brand as well as to consolidate control of its global distribution. The retailer has taken 100% of the issued share capital of Canterbury International Australia and 51% of Canterbury New Zealand (CNZ). Both companies were previously subsidiaries of New Zealand-based company Herald Island.

Ross Munro, who has control of Herald Island, will hold the remaining 49% stake in the New Zealand organisation, along with CCC Nominees, and has agreed to become the CEO of CNZ.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, JD said that it did not expect the acquisitions to be “materially earnings enhancing in the short terrm”, but that they would add to the group’s control of the Canterbury brand and its global marketing properties.

Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman of JD, said:”We are delighted with these strategic investments as they further enhance our ability to control the global development of the iconic Canterbury brand.”