Tiso sells stake to JD Sports

Chris Tiso will stay on as chief executive after sale. Picture: Dan Phillips

Chris Tiso will stay on as chief executive after sale. Picture: Dan Phillips

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Outdoor clothing retailer Chris Tiso has sold a controlling interest in his eponymous Edinburgh-based chain of stores to JD Sports Fashion for an undisclosed sum.

Tiso Group, launched in 1962 by mountaineer Graham Tiso and his wife Maude, employs about 300 staff in Scotland and the north of England in 16 stores.

In a statement, the company said the deal will allow Tiso to grow and develop its business which includes Alpine Bikes, George Fisher and Blues the ski shop. Tiso will become part of JD’s outdoor division alongside Blacks and Millets.

Tiso’s latest accounts to January 2012 show it made a £1.1 million loss on a turnover of £25.4m. This compares to a £790,000 profit the previous year. Net debt increased by £500,000 to £6.5m due to capital expenditure on a store in Aberdeen and the acquisition of the Blues The Ski Shop business.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman at JD will take over as chairman at Tiso and Chris Tiso continues as chief executive, a role he assumed in 1992 following the death of his father. At the time, the business comprised a single brand and five shops and had £4m of revenue.

The company will remain based in Edinburgh with the Tiso family retaining a shareholding in the company.

Graham Tiso and his wife ran the business in the back room of a boat shop until they acquired their first shop in Rodney Street, Edinburgh.

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