independent

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Heatons in Gorey to reopen this week as Sports Direct.com

Sara Gahan

After its shock closing down sale announcement last month, Heatons is officially closed but will re-open this week as Sports Direct.com.

Heatons, situated on the Main Street, unexpectedly advertised a closing down sale in their window in May. Sports World occupied upstairs, but now Sports Direct.com will take over the entire store.

The €48 million sale of Irish store chain Heatons to Mike Ashley's Sports Direct was completed in March 2016 after the two sides settled a bitter legal dispute at the High Court. Billionaire Mr Ashley owns Newcastle United and a share in Glasgow Rangers.

Sports Direct has owned a 50 per cent stake in Heatons for years and in October 2016 it had marginally increased that to a majority stake and had engineered an agreement to buy the remainder.

A separate legal row had been under way between the parties before that agreement was reached, with Sports Direct having sued Heatons' other shareholders, claiming that Heatons had entered into numerous property transactions without the consent of Sports Direct.

Heatons, which has almost 60 outlets, had claimed that Sports Direct was attempting damage on the Irish department store chain.

But the sides then agreed to sales terms that would see Sports Direct secure full ownership of Heatons, paying €47.5 million for the stakes it didn't already own. It is believed majority of Heatons stores in Ireland will become Sports Direct.

Gorey Guardian

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