JD Sports in €140.4m swoop for Spanish online retailer

Peter Cowgill

JD Sports Fashion, the Bury-based sports and athleisurewear retailer, has hit the takeover trail again after announcing a €140.4m acquisition in Spain.

It revealed that, on June 25, 2021, its 50.02% intermediate holding company in Spain, Iberian Sports Retail Group, struck an agreement to acquire 80% of Deporvillage SL.

Based in Manresa in Catalonia, Deporvillage is an online-only retailer focusing on the sale of specialist sports equipment, principally for cycling, running and outdoor.

After launching initially in Spain in 2010, Deporvillage has expanded internationally with country-specific websites launched subsequently, in Italy (2013), France (2013), Portugal (2014), Germany (2018) and UK (2018).

In the year to December 31, 2020, Deporvillage generated revenues of €117.8m and delivered a profit before tax of €7.7m. The gross assets at December 31, 2020 were €51.1m.

The business was established by Xavier Pladellorens and Ángel Corcuera who, after a number of fund raising exercises, are currently minority shareholders.

Post completion, they will retain a 20% holding in the business and will be continuing in their roles as chief executive and chief purchasing officer, respectively.

Completion of the acquisition is subject to receiving antitrust clearance.

JD Sports said €40.4m of the €140.4m acquisition price has been deferred and will be paid depending on the performance of the business to December 31, 2021.

The cash consideration is being funded from JD’s cash resources and existing bank facilities.

In addition, a number of put and call options, to enable future exit opportunities for Xavier Pladellorens and Ángel Corcuera, have also been agreed, which commence two years after closing.

The acquisition of Deporvillage, when completed, will enhance JD’s authenticity in key sports categories, it said, significantly increase its digital capabilities in the sports equipment market and will complement the ongoing positive developments in the group’s existing Sprinter and Sport Zone fascias.

Chief executive, Peter Cowgill, said: “Deporvillage has a strong consumer-centric approach and is the market leader in its categories in Spain with significant potential for further international development.

“We look forward to closing the transaction and welcoming the Deporvillage team to the group.”