Fashion retailer Gap has acquired US women’s sports and active apparel retailer Athleta for about US$150 million (£81.3 million) in cash.

The retailer said the acquisition will allow it to enhance its presence in the growing US$31 billion (£16.81 billion) women’s active apparel sector in the US.

Athleta products, which are currently sold via its web site and catalogue, will now be sold on Gap’s web site alongside Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime.

Gap chairman and chief executive Glenn Murphy said: “Athleta is a great success story with loyal customers that will now become part of the Gap Inc family of brands. This strategic acquisition complements our brands perfectly and allows us to leverage our new online platform to expand into this significant retail sector.”