Sports Direct receives approval to buy up bankrupt US retailer Eastern Outfitters in $101m deal

 
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The deal gives Sports Direct and its owner, Mike Ashley, a route into the US market (Source: Getty)

Sports Direct has received approval to buy up bankrupt US clothing retailer Eastern Outfitters.

The deal was worth $101m (£78.7m), adding the Bob's Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports brands to the empire of the British retailer's owner Mike Ashley and giving it a way into the US bricks and mortar retail market.

Sports Direct now owns Eastern Outfitters' 50 retail shops in the US. They are mostly focused on sporting clothing as well as outdoor and camping gear.

Read more: Sports Direct snaps up American brands

Sports Direct's move came after it bailed out the troubled retailer. The purchase required the approval of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court before it could proceed formally.

Eastern Outfitters had been loss-making in the period up to 28 January, taking on board an operating loss of $26m. However, Ashley will gain $126m in assets from the purchase.

Sports Direct said it expects to complete the purchase by mid-May.

Ashley has also added a 7.9 per cent stake in athletic apparel store Finish Line to his growing list of brands.

His recent buying spree has extended outside of sportswear to the more unlikely realm of women's underwear with the purchase of Agent Provocateur. That deal drew an angry response from the brand's founder, who said the Sports Direct bid was not the most valuable on offer.

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