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Retailer continues fast-track UK expansion with takeover and new-build

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Steve Gross, CEO of Fishing Republic. The UK firm has announced an acquisition and new build.

Fishing Republic – the fast-growing UK tackle retailer – has made its first acquisition since floating on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year and has also announced the opening of another store.

It is set to pay £170,000 for the business and assets of Fish XL, trading as Cotswold Angling, a retailer based in Swindon. It was founded in 2000 and operates from a 4,100sqm site. In the year to September 30, 2014 the business generated sales of approximately £0.43million and made a marginal operating profit.

Co-founder and director of the business, Trevor Gunning, will be joining the senior management team of Fishing Republic as Regional Operations Manager.

The company’s latest store development is set for Crewe, Cheshire, and based close to one of the country’s major motorway networks, the M6. It is expected to open in March.

“I am delighted to announce Fishing Republic’s first acquisition since we floated on AIM and the planned opening of a new store in Crewe. The acquisition of Cotswold Angling establishes our presence in the south of England, while the outlet in Crewe complements our existing store network in the north of England,” said Steve Gross, CEO.

“Both stores readily fit our ‘destination store’ model which is designed to attract fishermen from a wide area. Our aim is to build a sustainable presence in a market that is highly fragmented and we will continue to look for further opportunities to expand our geographic footprint while also building our online offering.”

In the same release to the London Stock Exchange, the company also announced the appointment of Russell Holmes as Finance Director. He will take over from Robert Tippett on January 1st. Holmes has worked for Fishing Republic since 2008.


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