JD Sports Fashion confirmed that it is exploring additional funding options, possibly involving a non-equity placing, as it looks to increase “its flexibility to invest in future strategic opportunities.”
The company confirmed the move after Sky News reported the group was in talks with advisors on a potential £400 million (€450.2m-$545.5m) share sale, and considering a placement as early as this week.
In a filing to the London Stock Exchange, JD said a further announcement will be made “as and when appropriate.”
Last month, JD bought Shoe Palace for $681 million (€561m) in a cash and shares deal to expand its business on the U.S. West Coast. Of that, $325 million (€268m) came out of its own cash reserves.
In December, the company pulled out of a deal to buy Debenhams, whose brand and website are now being sold to a British online fashion retailer, Boohoo, for £55 million (€62m-$75.1m).
Reportedly, JD also held talks with the U.S.-based Authentic Brands Group about a possible takeover of TopShop, one of the fashion chains owned by the bankrupt Arcadia group. However, another U.K.-based online retailing platform, Boohoo, has confirmed that it is the front-runner in the contest to buy TopShop and other Arcadia assets.
Analysts at Shore Capital have been reported as saying: “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.”
“In our view, JD Sports remains a best-in-class retailer with excellent cash generation (reflected in its strong balance sheet) and tight cost and stock controls. To bolster its balance sheet with a potential fund raising will enable the company to widen its already extensive corporate development net, as it looks for further bolt-on opportunities.”