JD Sports agrees to buy Footasylum for £ 90
JD Sports is putting its smaller, struggling rival out of
its misery. JD Sports Fashion has agreed to buy Footasylum
for £ 90 million (US $ 119.6 million).
The takeover bid comes as no major surprise, since JD Sports
acquired an 18.7 per cent strategic stake in February and
there is history between the two companies. However on the
same day the stake was revealed, JD Sports did specifically
state it was ‘not intending to make an offer’ for its
embattled high street competitor.
Footasylum was founded in 2005 by David Makin, who had
earlier been one of the co-founders of JD Sports. Makin was
joined by his JD Sports co-founder John Wardle, who was the
chief executive of Footasylum from 2008 to 2015 and later
became its executive chairman. Makin and Wardle had been
bought out by JD’s current majority owner Pentland Group in
2005 and they later resigned as directors of JD Sports.
Footasylum sells footwear and apparel primarily to 16- to
24-year-olds and competes with Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct
and ASOS among others.
“Footasylum is a well-established business with a strong
reputation for lifestyle fashion,” JD Sports said in a
statement, adding that the two retail brands were
Like other retailers, however, it is feeling the impact of
sluggish British consumer spending, squeezed household
incomes and uncertainty ahead of Brexit. Its sales during
Christmas were dismal, and also forced the company, which
sells sportswear made by companies such as Nike and Adidas
across the UK, to cut prices and lower its profit
expectations for the full year.
JD Sports said that shareholders representing about 63 per
cent of Footasylum’s shares have agreed to the deal.