JD Sports has acquired specialist Go Outdoors for £112.3m cash, which includes 58 stores across the UK.
JD Sports chief executive Peter Cowgill, branded the buy a “great addition to our existing outdoor business”. Rumours of the deal first surfaced in August.
Sheffield-based Go Outdoors was founded in 1998 by Paul Caplan and John Graham and has been backed by YFM Equity Partners and 3i Group.
The majority of its stores are in out-of-town retail parks.
Caplan and Graham will leave the business once the deal is finalised.
In its last full-year to January 2016, Go Outdoors reported pre-tax profits of £4.9m from sales of £202.2m.
Strengthening loss-making unit
JD Sports outdoor market assets include Blacks, Millets, Ultimate Outdoors and Tiso, which have combined sales of around £155m.
The unit is loss-making, but in September Cowgill said the division is likely to turn a profit if it has a decent winter.
Cowgill added: “The minimal overlap in store locations and their out of town, one-stop retailer approach complements the work we have done on the high street with Blacks and Millets and further strengthens our offering in the outdoor sector. I am excited by the future prospects this holds for the JD Group.”
The deal includes JD taking on £16m of net debt from Go Outdoors.
Independent analyst Nick Bubb said: “It is thought that price was the big issue in the deal and the cash consideration of £112.3m, plus net debt of approximately £16m, looks a bit toppy.”