JD Sports Fashion said that it formally completed its acquisition of Sport Zone at the end of January, to form the second-largest sports retailer in Iberia, with annualized sales of about €450 million. As reported last month, the European Commission already cleared the combination of the existing interests of JD Sprinter across Iberia with those of Sport Zone in Portugal, Spain and the Canary Islands. The British sports retailer added that other conditions to the transaction have been satisfied, meaning that the deal was completed on Jan. 31. Peter Cowgill, executive chairman at JD Sports Fashion, said in a statement that the financial benefit derived from Sport Zone will depend on how quickly the group can deal with the store portfolio, rejuvenate the offer and realize the necessary cost reductions and synergies. JD Sports Fashion therefore does not anticipate that the acquisition will immediately enhance earnings, but it firmly believes that there are significant opportunities to improve operational efficiencies and profitability over the longer term across the enlarged Iberian business. All terms of the transaction remained as outlined in the announcement issued on Sept. 14, which called for JD Sports Fashion to own 50 percent and two shares in the combination. It leaves 30 percent less one share in the hands of Sonae, the Portuguese conglomerate that fully owned Sport Zone, and 20 percent less one share for Balaiko Firaja Invest. This is an investment vehicle for the Segarras, one of the families behind the Sprinter concept in Spanish, which formed the JD Sprinter joint venture with JD Sports Fashion seven years ago.

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