JD Sports buys 80% stake in Greece's Cosmos Sports

·2-min read
JD Sports in central London. Photo: PA
JD Sports' acquisition of 80% of Cosmos Sport will help it expand its presence in Europe. Photo: PA

Britain's top sportswear retailer JD Sports (JD.L) said on Friday it acquired 80% of Cosmos Sport, which is based in Crete, Greece, as it looks to boost its European footprint.

Shares in the company were up 2.5% on Friday afternoon.

“This is another exciting acquisition for JD that further expands our presence in Europe,” said Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports Fashion.

Cosmos was founded in 1982 by Fragiskos Tsiknakis. Before the deal, 70% of it was owned by his family. The rest was owned by EOS Capital Partners AIFM, which invested into the business in 2019.

EOS have disposed of their entire holding in this transaction.

JD Sports' stock was up on Friday. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
JD Sports' stock was up on Friday. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

Cosmos operates 57 stores in Greece and three in Cyprus under a variety of retail banners and associated trading websites. The principal ones are Cosmos (32 stores), and Sneaker 10, of which there are 19 stores that sell “a more premium footwear offer".

In the year ended 31 December 2020, Cosmos generated revenues of approximately €52m (£43.8m, $60.5m).

"JD Sports' shopping spree continues as part of its quest to expand its presence across Europe and dominate the sports fashion and equipment space,” Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told Yahoo Finance UK.

“Although the network of stores across Greece will bolster its bricks and mortar footprint, it’s the online store that will have been at the top of its shopping list. Investors appear encouraged by this move as part of the group’s heavy investment into e-commerce which has made it a formidable online powerhouse.”

Read more: CMA blocks JD Sports' Footasylum takeover for second time

Last month, The UK's antitrust regulator had said JD Sports may have to sell Footasylum in order to address concerns about competition.

The Competition and Markets Authority said the takeover "could lead to a worse deal for shoppers", in a decision that has led analysts to label Footasylum "one of the most cursed names in retail".

The deal was originally agreed in March 2019 and would have seen the sportswear giant take over Footasylum's 64 store footprint. It said it is "perplexed and again disappointed" by the findings.

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