Sports Direct has acquired majority stakes in two European sporting goods retailers based in Austria and the Baltics.
The sports retailer has acquired a 51% stake in the Sports Eybl & Sports Experts, one of the leading sporting goods retailers in Austria.
The retailer said the acquisition, made by wholly owned subsidiary Sportsdirect.com Retail, will see Sports Direct invest €30m in subordinated debt on top of the €10.5m paid to its shareholders, the Eybl Family.
The Austrian company recorded sales of €323.8m the year to August 31.
Sports Direct has the right to acquire the remaining shares in EAG from the Eybl Family for €15.5 million for five years after completion. During this period, the Eybl Family also has the right to sell its remaining shares in EAG to Sports Direct for €5m.
The retailer has two fascias – Eybl which has 29 stores in Austria and a store in Germany and Sports Experts which has 26 stores in Austria and two stores in Germany. The fascias have a combined 25% share of the market.
Separately, Sports Direct has acquired a 60% stake in Sportland International Group (SIG) which was founded as a wholesaler in 1995.
SIG operates the Sportland, Sportland Outlet, Timberland, O’Neill, Nike and Nike Outlet retail chains in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and is the official wholesale distributor of Nike products in the Baltics. It generated sales of €61.6m through 80 stores in the year to December 31, 2012.
Sports Direct International chief executive Dave Forsey said: “The strategic investments announced today in Austria and the Baltic region represent a continuation of our previously stated European expansion plans. Expected benefits from these investments include increased scale for our international business, growing international awareness of our group brands and additional expertise in specialist product categories such as winter sports.”
The acquisitions will bolster Sports Direct’s existing overseas offer which includes stores under its own fascia in Iceland, Belgium, France, Slovenia and Portugal.