Trends & Features

JD Sports to sell Canterbury

JD Sports has reached an agreement to sell Canterbury to Pentland for £22.7 million three years after it bought the rugby brand.

As part of the deal, which is subject to shareholder approval, JD has acquired casual clothing and footwear brand ONETrueSaxon from Pentland for £50,000.

Pentland owns a number of outdoor and sports brands, including Berghaus, Mitre and Speedo, and has a 57.47 per cent stake in JD.

“Having reviewed the options for Canterbury, we are pleased to have agreed its sale to Pentland on terms which are attractive for JD and provide Pentland with the opportunity to further build and develop the Canterbury brand,” says Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD.

“Acquiring the ONETrueSaxon brand will allow us to leverage our in-house expertise and offer new products through our core retail fascias.”

JD only sells a small proportion of Canterbury’s products through its own retail business.

In addition, a substantial element of Canterbury’s revenue and earnings are located in New Zealand and Australia, territories where JD has limited operations and which are significantly distant from the core retail focus of the business in the UK and continental Europe.

Canterbury recently secured a long-term partnership to become the official kit partner to the RFU. The four-year agreement will see the brand supplying kit to the England senior, Saxons, Sevens, women’s and age grade representative teams.

Canterbury is the current kit partner of the international rugby union teams of South Africa and Scotland and of many leading clubs worldwide, including Leinster who recently won the Heineken Cup for a second consecutive year.

In the year ended January 28, 2012, Canterbury made a pre-tax loss of £1.1 million and had gross assets of £32.6 million.

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