Sports Direct buys stake in USC and Cruise Clothing

Sports Direct has acquired an 80 per cent shareholding in USC and Cruise Clothing Ltd for £7 million.

USC currently has 38 UK stores and a turnover of £70 million. Cruise has 10 stores in the UK and an annual turnover of around £20 million.

Both fashion retailers are owned by Sir Tom Hunter, who will retain a 20 per cent shareholding in both USC and Cruise and will remain as chairman of both companies.

He will also provide strategic guidance to Sports Direct’s newly established Premium and Luxury Lifestyle division.

Sports Direct will provide a facility of up to £20 million to enable the existing management teams to develop the two businesses, which enjoy premium market positions.

“This deal will transform the prospects for both USC and Cruise and our employees at a time of extraordinary turbulence in the high street,” says Sir Tom Hunter.

“I’ve known the Sports Direct team for many years and have huge respect for their talent and look forward to co-investing with them.

“Sports Direct has a truly exceptional track record in building partnerships with its customers and its staff.”

Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct, adds: “We are pleased to be taking this opportunity to work with Tom and his teams in the premium and luxury sector of the market.

“While USC and Cruise will remain independent of Sports Direct, we will support the businesses with our operational expertise.”

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