JD Sports to acquire The Finish Line for $558mn in United States expansion

Finish Line store

The sportswear retailer has struck a £396 million conditional deal to buy Finish Line, which it expects to complete in June.

JD Sports has seen strong performance of late, having overtaken Sports Direct as the leading United Kingdom sportwear retailer in terms of market value.

'On completion of the acquisition, the company will focus on bringing JD's highly differentiated multi-channel retail proposition to the USA market, ' reads today's statement.

"It immediately offers a major presence in the U.S., a clear next step to further increase our global scale".

The Finish Line executive team will continue forward under the new ownership.

Finish Line believes that its sale to JD Sports will provide immediate value to shareholders and move it into a stronger position to compete as part of a global enterprise. Finish Line, which operates concessions in Macy's department stores, is "thrilled" to partner with JD Sports, chief executive Sam Sato said in the statement.

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JD Sports sees the US market as a highly attractive growth opportunity, and it aims to bring "a differentiated multichannel retail proposition" to this market.

The investigation concerns whether Finish Line's board failed to satisfy their duties to the Company's shareholders, including whether the board adequately pursued alternatives to the acquisition and whether the board obtained the best price possible for the Company's shares of common stock. Fox Run Management L.L.C. bought a new position in shares of Finish Line in the fourth quarter worth $293,000. JD gains a significant physical and online retail presence with direct access in the U.S. which they have long identified as a highly attractive growth opportunity. JD Sports is a leading athletic, fashion and outdoor apparel retailer in Europe.

The Finish Line statement said the companies anticipate the combined purchasing power and relationships in North America "to bring a highly differentiated multi-channel retail proposition to the US market".

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Finish Line (NASDAQ:FINL) from a buy rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Tuesday, February 27th. Finish Line Inc has a 12 month low of $6.90 and a 12 month high of $16.38.

Barnes & Thornburg LLP served as legal counsel to Finish Line. Barclays, HSBC Bank and PNC Bank, National Association provided committed financing to JD for the transaction.

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