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JD Sports Fashion buys Go Outdoors for £112.3 million

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UK retail chain Go Outdoors has been sold to JD Sports Fashion in a deal worth £112.3 million.
↑ Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman of JD Sports Fashion, says that Go Outdoors is a great addition to the group's outdoor business.

One of the UK’s major fishing tackle retailers, Go Outdoors, has been sold in a deal worth £112.3 million.

It has been taken over by JD Sports Fashion, a leading retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands. The group has 182 stores across a number of companies that include Ultimate Outdoors, Millets and Blacks.

Based in Sheffield, Go Outdoors was originally established in 1998 by Paul Caplan and John Graham. Backed by YFM Equity Partners and, latterly, 3i Group Plc, it has grown from a single store to become a nationwide omni-channel retailer catering for the outdoor enthusiast and specialist alike with 58 stores across the UK, the majority of which are situated in out of town retail parks.

For the 53-week period ended January 31st 2016, Go Outdoors had consolidated revenues of £202.2m, an operating profit of £6.1m, a profit before tax of £4.9m and gross assets of £76.4m.

JD Sports says the acquisition will complement the group’s existing significant interest in the outdoor market which, in the 52 weeks to January 30th 2016 had combined revenues in excess of £155 million. The vast majority of the group’s existing outdoor stores are situated on the high street and therefore there is minimal crossover with those of Go Outdoors.

Following completion of the transaction, the founders, Paul Caplan and John Graham, will leave the business.

Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman of JD Sports Fashion, said: “Go Outdoors is a great addition to our existing outdoor business. The minimal overlap in store locations and their out of town, one stop retailer approach complements the work we have done on the high street with Blacks and Millets and further strengthens our offering in the outdoor sector. I am excited by the future prospects this holds for the JD Group.”

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