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High Street

Sports Direct pips JD Sports, acquires 20% stake in Finish Line

Sports Direct has acquired almost 8 million shares in US sports retailer Finish Line – the company set to be bought by its rival JD Sports.

In a ‘Strategic US Investments’ update the company owned by billionaire Mike Ashley revealed it currently holds 7,957,800 shares in Finish Line, representing 19.3% of the issued common stock of that company.

Around 3,632,000 shares are owned directly. An economic interest in a further 4,325,800 shares is held through contracts for difference with third parties.

As a result Sports Direct is set to make £78.5m from the holdings when its rival JD Sports completes its £396m deal to acquire Finish Line.

The deal which was announced at the end of March will see JD sports acquire 100% of the issued share capital of Finish Line at £9.53 per share, breaking into the US market with Finish Lines 556 stores.

In the update Sports Direct also revealed it had purchased 5,664,115 shares in Iconix Brand Group, representing 8.9% of the issued common stock of that company. This investment is held through third parties.

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