Sports Direct Takes Stakes in Iconix & Dick’s Sporting Goods

British retail giant Sports Direct International said it acquired stakes in Dick’s Sporting Goods and boosted its holdings in Iconix Brand Group.

For the company, the moves come a week after it purchased 4.3 million Iconix shares, or 9 percent of the troubled firm, according to documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Since then, Sports Direct upped its Iconix buy-in, another 2 percent, according to a Jan 11. SEC filing. The firm, which was founded in 1982 by British billionaire Mike Ashley and now has 455 sports stores in the U.K., boosted its position in Iconix to 11.5 percent, now controlling 5.57 million shares.

Similarly, Sports Direct said it snapped up 2.3 percent of Dick’s Sporting Goods, about 2.1 million shares.

“The main rationale for these stakes is to allow Sports Direct to hopefully build a relationship and develop commercial partnerships with the relevant parties,” the firm said in a statement. “They also help the company to build relationships with key suppliers and brands.”

Sports Direct has used similar strategies with other businesses, such as department store Debenhams and House of Fraser.

Still, the U.K. firm is not without challenges of its own.

Earlier this month, the company said its would not meet its full-year earnings target. It lowered its earnings forecast due to worsening conditions for U.K. stores and the mild weather.


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