Go Outdoors stores are mainly on out-of-town sites

Go Outdoors stores are mainly on out-of-town sites

Britain’s competition watchdog has given the go-ahead for the takeover of Go Outdoors by retail group JD Sports.

The Competition and Markets Authority announced its decision on Thursday, allowing the £112m deal to go ahead.

The green light for the acquisition follows an investigation begun last December, following the announcement of the takeover in November.

JD Sports said it was delighted with the watchdog’s decision. It said: “JD Sports Fashion PLC, the leading retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands, is delighted to announce that its acquisition of Go Outdoors Topco Limited has today been given unconditional approval by the Competition and Markets Authority and that the CMA’s investigation is now complete.

“Go Outdoors is a nationwide omnichannel retailer catering for the outdoor enthusiast and specialist alike with 58 stores across the UK at acquisition, the majority of which are situated in out of town retail parks.

“This acquisition will complement the Group’s existing offering in the outdoor market.”

JD Sports has been given the green light for the takeover. Photo: Betty Longbottom CC-BY-SA-2.0

JD Sports has been given the green light for the takeover. Photo: Betty Longbottom CC-BY-SA-2.0

Peter Cowgill, JD Sports’ executive chairman, added: “I am pleased with the outcome of the CMA’s investigation and delighted to welcome Go Outdoors to the JD Group.

“Go Outdoors will make an excellent addition to the existing JD Outdoor business and I am confident that it will build upon Blacks’, Millets’ and Tiso’s recent success on the high street and strengthen our consumer proposition within the outdoor sector.”

The CMA in December issued an initial enforcement order to Pentland Group, the majority owner of JD Sports, and JD Sports itself, after the company announced it was snapping up the retailer.

The order put on hold any further merging of Pentland and Go Outdoors and organisational structure of the two companies during the investigation, and also prohibited the selling off of any of the two companies’ assets, and changes to key staff posts, though some of these were subsequently relaxed by the authority.

Pentland also owns the Berghaus brand. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Pentland also owns the Berghaus brand. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Pentland Group owns 57 per cent of JD Sports which operates, among other retailers, Millets, Blacks, Tiso and Ultimate Outdoors. Pentland also owns the leading outdoors brand Berghaus.

The Pentland Group began life in the early 1930s as the Liverpool Shoe Company. It became a privately owned company in 1999.

The company had a turnover of £2.4bn in 2015, with a pre-tax profit of £185m.

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