Sports Direct owner mulls buying France's Go Sport
One of the UK’s most acquisitive companies as far as distressed brands are concerned — Frasers Group — is mulling the purchase of France-based Go Sport out of insolvency.
That’s according to an interview CEO Michael Murray gave to Bloomberg as the company opened its giant Sports Direct Manchester flagship.
Buying the brand would give Frasers a major presence in France as it targets growth in Europe generally.
Murray said a Go Sport takeover would be key for the group’s French ambitions as it would allow it to expand there “with some authority rather than opening store by store”.
Murray is also looking at multiple European markets and at businesses that could benefit from the deep pockets, logistics expertise and own-brands that Frasers can offer.
A cash flow crisis meant Go Sport went into receivership two months ago. But its 80 French stores are also being eyed by others, including reportedly, Intersport.
Frasers Group has been going through an “elevation” programme in recent years that has included transforming its Sports Direct stores from visually unattractive, discount-focused locations to experiential stores designed to appeal more to the big-name brands that are crucial to sports retailers.
The Manchester opening is a perfect example of this with the company having invested a reported £10 million in the 50,000-square-foot location.
The Sports Direct chain includes hundreds of UK stores but hasn’t been as big a player in mainland Europe as major rival JD Sports.
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