Sports direct buys two US chains in £78m debt

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has seized control of US retailers Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports in a 101 million US dollars (£78 million) debt deal.

The billionaire tycoon has acquired the chains by buying up the debts of their parent firm Eastern Outfitters, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.

The deal will see Mr Ashley take charge of around 50 retail stores in the US under the Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports fascias, which sell clothing, sportswear and camping equipment.

Sports Direct said the acquisition will provide it with a "footprint in US bricks-and-mortar retail and a platform from which to grow US online sales".

Eastern Outfitters booked a pre-tax net operating loss of 26 million US dollars (£20 million) in the year to January 28, although the gross assets of the businesses being acquired stands at 126 million US dollars (£98 million).

Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United FC, has courted controversy recently, coming under fire for presiding over ''Victorian'' working conditions at Sports Direct's warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.

The retailer has since moved to elect an employee to attend board meetings.

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Rupert Murdoch's £11.7bn Sky bid looks set to face UK competition probe

UK 'still has great potential for Irish food and drink exports'

Common Agricultural Policy payments could be slashed in next EU budget

Firms and governments assess cyber attack damage


Today's Stories

Dixons to sell Irish mobile business

Tullow takes $600m oil price hit

Insurance costs could be determined by car tracker

Pound weighs heavily on Ftse

Lifestyle

Hand of Fate: Have faith in the hand you are dealt

Sean O’Hagan returns to 'cosmopolitan' Cork

Nude dating show Naked Attraction will see singletons revealing a lot about themselves

'Everybody cheats on everybody': Technology and its impact on human behaviour

More From The Irish Examiner