Saturday 19 August 2017

Sports Direct International reaches agreement to acquire Heatons in €47.5m deal

At the launch of the new Heatons autumn/ winter range
At the launch of the new Heatons autumn/ winter range

Paul O'Donoghue

UK firm Sports Direct International, founded by English billionaire Mike Ashley, has reached an agreement to pay a total of €47.5m to acquire the shares it does not already own in Irish retailer Heatons.

Sports Direct said that it has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Sandra Minor, a minority shareholder in Warrnambool.

Warrnambool is the holding company of Heatons, a retailer which specialises in selling men’s, women’s and children’s clothing with homewares.

Following the completion of the purchase Sports Direct will own just over 50pc of Warrnambool.

Sports Direct has also entered into a conditional put and call option agreement with Mark Heaton, Hugh Heaton, John O'Neill, Warrnambool and Katipo Limited in relation to the remaining shares in Warrnambool which are not already owned by Sports Direct.

Heatons has 44 stores in the Republic of Ireland and ten stores in Northern Ireland.

Following the completion of the deal Sports Direct will own just over half of Warrnambool. Sports Direct currently holds 50pc of the issued share capital of Warrnambool.

The total cash consideration payable under the agreement and the conditional put and call option agreement is €47.5m.

This will be funded from the Sports Direct's operating cashflow and existing bank facilities. 

The agreements are conditional upon clearance from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

For the year to the end of April Warrnambool had revenue of €219.3m, gross assets of €158m, earnings before deductions of €17.2m and profit before tax of €10m.

Dave Forsey, Chief Executive Officer of Sports Direct, commented: “We look forward to accelerating investment into the existing store portfolio and strengthening the Heatons and Sports Direct brands across Ireland”.

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