JD Sports Sells 15 ‘Non-Core’ Fashion Brands to Frasers Group to ‘Significantly Simplify’ Its Portfolio

JD Sports Fashion Plc has sold 15 of its U.K.-based “non-core” fashion businesses to Frasers Group Plc in a deal worth 47.5 million pounds, or $57.6 million based on current exchange rates.

According to the British sportswear retailer, the brands divested include Base Childrenswear, Choice, Clothingsites (including Brown Bag Clothing), Cricket, Giulio, Kids Cavern, Missy Empire, Nicholas Deakins, Pretty Green, Prevu Studio, Rascal Clothing, Tessuti (including Xile), Scotts, Watch Shop and Topgrade Sportswear (including Get The Label).

JD Sports said that eight of the brands were completely acquired on the date of the sale on Friday, with the remaining seven expected to close in early 2023.

Régis Schultz, CEO of JD, said in a statement on Friday that the company is “pleased” to have agreed to the sale of these “attractive,” but non-core, brands. “I would like to express my sincere thanks to all colleagues at the businesses which form part of the transaction for their hard work and contribution to the group over the years,” Schultz said.

The sale was done after a “strategic review” led by Schultz in order to “significantly simplify” its branded fashion offering, JD said in a press release on Friday. This will allow the retail giant to “focus more fully” on the opportunities across the rest of the company, in particular the international and digital expansion of its core premium sports fashion brands.

This transaction comes months after Schultz took the helm at the company. He assumed control in September from Kath Smith, who has now returned to the position of senior independent director on the board. Smith assumed the role in the interim after former executive chairman Peter Cowgill stepped down as CEO in May.

In August, JD sold its Footasylum brand to German asset management firm Aurelius for 37.5 million pounds, or $46 million after several government probes. This is a departure from JD’s streak of acquisitions in 2020 and 2021. In Dec. 2020, the company snapped up San Jose, Calif.-based Shoe Palace Corp. for $325 million, and less than three months later announced that it would acquire Baltimore, Md.-based DTLR Villa LLC in a $495 million deal.

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