Tiso owner JD Sports eyeing cash call to fund fresh acquisitions

JD Sports Fashion, the high street giant that has a ­controlling stake in ­Scottish outdoor retailer Tiso, is mulling an investor cash call as it looks to continue its acquisition spree.

JD has become one of the most successful brands on the UK high street. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The group said it was considering funding options, including an equity placing, to boost its ability to “invest in future strategic opportunities”.

It comes amid reports that the group is in talks over a potential £400 million share sale to bolster its coffers following its recent bumper acquisition of US chain Shoe Palace.

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JD – one of the most successful brands on the UK high street – has been snapping up firms across its home territory and the US over the past couple of years, with the Shoe Palace deal boosting its presence in America following the deal to buy the Finish Line shoe-store chain in 2018.

The expansion strategy also saw the group agree a £90m deal to buy UK rival Footaslyum early in 2019.

JD Sports is also reportedly said to have been interested in buying up parts of Sir Philip Green’s collapsed Arcadia empire and had been interested in Debenhams before pulling out of the process last month.

Greg Lawless, retail expert at brokerage Shore Capital, said: “We are not that surprised that the JD board are now considering an equity raise given its global ambitions and the potential merger and acquisition opportunities that might arise from the fallout of Covid in the retail sector, both in the UK and internationally.”

“To bolster its balance sheet with a potential fundraising will enable the company to widen its already extensive corporate development net, as it looks for further bolt-on opportunities.”

JD Sports recently warned that its UK stores were “likely” to be shut until at least Easter as it hailed better-than-expected trading.

The sportswear retailer also said closures of its stores in other countries were “possible at any time” as it cautioned that Covid-19 continues to create an uncertain outlook.

The firm said customers “readily switched” between its stores and online business in the run-up to Christmas.

Total revenues, on a like-for-like basis, rose by more than 5 per cent in the 22 weeks to January 2 compared with the same period last year.

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JD Sports says UK stores 'likely' to remain closed until at least Easter

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