JD Sports ends long-running Footasylum saga, sells to Germany's Aurelius
JD Sports Fashion confirmed on Monday that it has exchanged contracts to sell Footasylum Limited and its associated subsidiaries to private equity firm Aurelius Group for £37.5 million.
The sale was forced on it by the Competition and Markets Authority following its decision to prohibit JD's acquisition of Footasylum last year.
JD said it has “cooperated with the CMA throughout the divestment process, including ensuring that the purchaser was acceptable to the CMA and met certain key criteria set out within the final undertakings. The sale is anticipated to complete in the coming weeks with no conditionality”.
Interim CEO Kath Smith said: “I would like to sincerely thank the teams at Aurelius and Footasylum who worked collaboratively with the CMA to agree this transaction. We wish both parties every success for the future.”
The sale comes after a bruising period for JD Sports that was a blip on its otherwise rapid march towards global success.
Earlier this year, Britain fined the country's largest sportswear retailer, as well as Footasylum, a combined £4.7 million for breaching an order that prevented both the merged firms from integrating further.
The company’s original purchase of Footasylum over three years ago came in a £90 million deal that the CMA wasn’t happy about, arguing that it suppressed competition in the UK.
However, JD Sports spent some time fighting against the decision to reverse the buy and looked to have the Competition Appeal Tribunal on its side when the tribunal agreed with JD’s arguments. Yet the CMA later confirmed its decision, hence the Aurelius deal.
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