British retailer Frasers Group said on Friday it has bought shares in premium fashion brands of JD Sports for about US$57.7 million, as the Mike Ashley-owned company continues its drive into a more premium market.
Frasers, formerly called Sports Direct, also acquired and transferred shares of more than 10 of the premium fashion brands, including Pretty Green, Cricket and Topgrade Sportswear, which the sports retailer held.
JD Sports, in a separate statement, said it has divested 15 of its UK-based businesses to Frasers.
British retailers have been struggling as consumers tighten their pockets and cut non-essential spending during a worsening cost-of-living crisis and sky-high inflation.
“We are pleased to have agreed the sale of these attractive, but non-core, brands,” said Régis Schultz, Chief Executive Officer of JD Sports, adding his thanks to colleagues at these brands.
JD Sports said these divestments will allow the company to focus on the international and digital expansion of the core premium sports fashion platforms.
The deal, Frasers Group will fund through existing cash resources, comes during a year when both the companies have experienced changes in the top job roles.
Frasers, which is on an acquisition spree, recently boosted its maximum exposure to German fashion house Hugo Boss and snapped up a more than 5 per cent stake in struggling British online fashion retailer ASOS.
JD Sports added that the deal for eight of the businesses and all debt owed by divested brands to JD Sports has closed immediately while deal completion for remaining business is expected early next year.
- Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Josie Kao, of Reuters.