Belfast Telegraph

JD Sports shares dive after majority owner Pentland sells £177m holding

The retailer’s stock slid 10.2% to 721.9p in early trading after Pentland Group confirmed the major shares sale.

Shares in JD Sports plunged after Pentland Group sold 24 million shares (Nick Ansell/PA)
Shares in JD Sports plunged after Pentland Group sold 24 million shares (Nick Ansell/PA)

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

JD Sports shares have plunged after the company’s largest investor sold holdings worth £177 million.

The retailer’s stock slid 10.2% to 721.9p in early trading after majority owner Pentland Group confirmed the major shares sale.

Pentland, which also owns sportswear brands such as Speedo and Berghaus, said it sold 24 million shares in the company at 740p each.

The group will now have a 55% stake in the FTSE 100 retailer, having first purchased a 57.5% holding in the business in 2005.

Chairman Stephen Rubin said: “Pentland is committed to remaining a long-term majority shareholder in JD at the same time as growing our portfolio of sports, outdoor and fashion brands through organic investment and acquisitions.

“Today’s share sale enables us to further this strategy by realising a small portion of our shareholding in JD to fund future investment activity, as well as increasing the free float to meet the increasing interest expressed in JD by other shareholders.”

The company said the shares were offered to international institutional investors by way of an accelerated bookbuild.

JD Sports will not receive any proceeds from the placement and Goldman Sachs acted as sole bookrunner for Pentland during the process.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Despite the sale, Pentland still remains a majority shareholder in the business, and the shares are still up over 100% year to date, which doesn’t seem too bad a return.”

JD Sports entered the FTSE 100 earlier this year after a period of surging sales bucked the downbeat trend among rival retailers.

The company had eyed an expansion through the proposed acquisition of rival Footasylum for £90 million, but the move has been stalled by an ongoing investigation by the competition watchdog.

PA

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