JD Sports founders in for a payday as Footasylum prepares to float

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The founders of JD Sports are in for a share in a £150m payday as they plan to float premium fashion chain Footasylum on the London Stock Exchange.

John Wardle and David Makin are expected to each gain tens of millions in a float, Sky News reported today.

The IPO, which is set to be announced this month, will value the company at around £150m, with a similar profit multiple to JD Sports.

Wardle and Makin reportedly plan to retain major stakes in the business, with Wardle staying on as executive chairman.

The pair set up JD Sports in 1981, using the initials of their first names as the company's brand. Makin later launched Footasylum in 2005 and was joined by Wardle three years later.

Read more: New Look's founder in £1.2m funding round for sportswear brand Castore

Footasylum currently has 59 UK stores, a small number compared with the 800-strong JD Sports estate. But the brand has plans to reach 150 locations

The chain employs around 2,200 people.

Footasylum stocks highly recognised luxury sportswear brands such as Adidas and Nike alongside its own-brand labels. Its continuing success over the past few years ties in with the resilient athleisure trend that has also benefited JD Sports.

The premiumisation of sportswear retail has put pressure on rivals such as Mike Ashley's Sports Direct, which its exuberant founder has promised to make the "Selfridges of sport".

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