Frasers Group, the high street retail giant behind Sports Direct, is muscling its way into Adidas’ home market with a takeover of the SportScheck chain.
Sky News has learnt that Frasers, founded by the billionaire tycoon Mike Ashley, will announce this week that it is buying the German retailer, which trades from 34 stores.
The value of the deal to buy SportScheck from Signa Retail Department Store Holding was unclear on Monday evening.
People close to the situation said, however, that it represented an important step towards Frasers’ ambition of becoming the leading sporting goods retailer in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The deal has the support of both Adidas, the German sportswear giant, and Nike, its American rival, one of the people added.
Their endorsement is said to be a reflection of the momentum that Michael Murray, Frasers’ chief executive, has generated behind his ‘Elevation’ strategy – a reference to his plans for digital innovation and investment in the group’s stores.
Frasers’ shares have surged by more than a quarter over the last year, giving it a market capitalisation of more than £3.5bn.
Although he is no longer on the company’s board, Mr Ashley remains Frasers’ majority shareholder.
Under his stewardship, it bought a swathe of other retail brands, including the Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes, Evans Cycles and Jack Wills.
A Frasers spokeswoman declined to comment on the acquisition of SportScheck.