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Frasers Group offers to buy Footasylum from industry rival JD Sports

Frasers Group offers to buy Footasylum from industry rival JD Sports

British retail corporation Fraser Group plc, owned by billionaire Mike Ashley, has reportedly approached rival sports-fashion company, JD Sports plc, with an offer to acquire its trainer retailer chain, Footasylum.

According to reports, the offer comes on the heels of a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ruling, which had ordered JD Sports to sell 65 stores of Footasylum owned by the group in November, claiming that its takeover of the smaller trainer chain will cause harm in competition and for shoppers.

The takeover proposal is the latest development in the ensuing battle between Frasers Group and JD Sports, both of which are trying to gain access to the best sports goods, from suppliers like Nike and Adidas, and also getting more attention from shoppers.

The UK competition watchdog will, however, have to approve the new buyer and make sure that it is an independent competitor, depending on whether JD Sports successfully appeals against the ruling.

JD had said at the time of the ruling that the CMA’s blocking of its merger with Footasylum defied logic.  

Fraser Group, which had recently rebranded from Sports Direct International following the acquisition of department store chain, House of Fraser, has reportedly notified the watchdog about its plans for the takeover. The group also serves as the parent company of Jack Willis, Game, Flannels, Evans Cycles, and Sports Direct.

JD Sports had agreed on acquiring Footasylum for £90 million ($120 million) in March of 2019, but the deal suffered major complications as the CMA had been repeatedly trying to stop it from taking place.

Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman of JD Sports, had suggested that the CMA’s decision was influenced by the company’s competitor, referring to Fraser Group, and added that the group, which was notoriously vocal about its acquisitions, had taken part in the process for its benefit rather than of the consumers. 

While JD has declined to comment on the matter, Frasers is yet to respond for the same.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.