Sports Direct acquires a majority stake in the largest sporting goods retailer in the Baltics

29 May, 2013

Sports Direct International plc today announces that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 60% equity stake in Sportland International Group AS (“SIG”), the largest sporting goods retailer in the Baltic region.

SIG operates the Sportland, Sportland Outlet, Timberland, O’Neill, Nike and Nike Outlet retail chains in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. SIG, which was founded by Are Altraja and Anti Kalle, commenced business as a wholesaler in 1995 and has become the leading sporting goods retailer and distributor in the Baltics. The SIG Group includes AS Jalajälg, which is the official wholesale distributor of Nike products in the Baltics. For the 12 month period ending 31 December 2012, SIG generated revenue of €61.6 million, operating 80 stores with total net sales area of approximately 39,000 square meters.

The SIG transaction is subject to various conditions, including clearance from local competition authorities, and is expected to complete by 30 June 2013.

Are Altraja, co-founder of SIG, said:
“Sportland is the market leader in the Baltic region, with a premium position, an attractive store portfolio, excellent relationships with the leading third party brands and a compelling product offer. With Sports Direct’s operational expertise and financial support we will be able to expand our product offering, introduce more innovation and further enhance our market leadership in the Baltics.”

Dave Forsey, Chief Executive of Sports Direct International plc, said:
“The strategic investments announced today in Austria and the Baltic region represent a continuation of our previously stated European expansion plans. Expected benefits from these investments include increased scale for our international business, growing international awareness of our Group Brands and additional expertise in specialist product categories such as winter sports. We are delighted to be working with strong local partners such as the Eybl Family, Are Altraja and Anti Kalle and have every confidence in their ability to grow their businesses in Austria and the Baltics.”

Sports Direct is the UK’s leading sports retailer by revenue and operating profit, with approximately 400 stores across the UK. The Group offers an unrivalled range of products at the best available prices from a variety of third-party and Group-owned brands, both in-store and online. Following completion, Sports Direct will be operating in 16 countries in the European Economic Area, including Belgium, Slovenia, Portugal and France.

Sports Direct was founded in 1982, listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2007 and is a constituent of the FTSE 250.

Porta Finance acted as a financial advisor to Sportland International Group in relation to the SIG transaction.

Further information:
Karl-Erik Kodu
Director, Porta Finance
Tel: +372 602 5015