Finish Line Buys Running Chain

Indianapolis-based Finish Line Inc. said today it has acquired the 18-store specialty running shop business that includes New York Running Co., Georgetown Running Co. and Texas Running Co.

Finish Line will pay $8.5 million and assume “certain liabilities” associated with the chain, which was founded in 1996 and does approximately $19 million in annual sales. Startup and other costs are expected to be dilutive to earnings in the 2012 fiscal year by approximately 1 cent per share, the company said in a statement.

Finish Line chairman and CEO Glenn Lyon said in the statement that Finish Line intends to keep stores under their current banners, and would pursue growth by opening new doors, launching e-commerce and potentially acquiring other similar businesses.

But current plans call for keeping the culture of the acquired shops the same. Finish Line spokeswoman Anne Roman said: “This is a company founded by runners, and it’s in both our DNAs. They have the best-in-class operations in specialty, and we intend to preserve all the things that make them great — their heritage, their strong knowledge base and that they’re really good in their communities. We would only be looking to support and help grow the business instead of changing it.”

“This acquisition is an important step in our strategic plan to drive growth outside of our core Finish Line business,” Lyon said in the statement. “We have a tremendous growth opportunity within the specialty running business, with this acquisition as the foundation of that growth.”

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