JD Sports will pay $545 million to take full control of its Iberian subsidiary

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s largest sportswear retailer, JD Sports Fashion, said on Friday it would pay 500.1 million euros ($544.9 million) to buy out minority investors in its Iberian business as it presses ahead with an ambitious expansion plan.

JD said it would buy 49.98% of the shares of Iberian Sports Retail Group (ISRG) currently owned by Balaiko Firaja Invest and Sonae Holdings, giving it 100% ownership.

The group had announced in May that it was in talks about the future ownership of the subsidiary, which has more than 460 stores.

In February JD announced it would invest up to £3bn to open 1,750 stores over five years, with chief executive Regis Schultz outlining his plans to turn the company into a sportswear ‘powerhouse’.

In May, JD agreed to buy France’s Groupe Courir, which has 313 stores, and announced earlier this month that it would enter the Middle East with its first franchise deal.

Last month, JD said there was some slowdown in trade in its North American business, which will be offset by increased demand in the UK, Europe and Asia Pacific.

JD shares are up 9% since the beginning of the year.

($1 = 0.9178 euros)

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing in Spanish by Javi West-Larrañaga)

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