JD Sports Continues Expansion with Another Acquisition

    • JD Sports is buying menswear brand Oi Polloi.
    • The acquisition comes among rumors that CEO Peter Cowgill may be stepping down.

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Less than two months after its last purchase, JD Sports is adding another acquisition to the list.

The U.K. sportswear company bought Manchester-based clothing retailer Oi Polloi — the latest in a series of bold expansion moves for JD Sports.

  • June 2018: Took over Finish Line for $558 million
  • December 2020: Bought Shoe Palace for $325 million
  • February 2021: Acquired DTLR Villa for $495 million
  • March 2021: Purchased a 60% stake in Marketing Investment Group

While financial terms were not disclosed, the founders of Oi Polloi — Steve Sanderson and Nigel Lawson — will step away from the company.

The filing comes along with speculation that Peter Cowgill will step down as JD Sports CEO and an announcement that board member Andy Rubin will be replaced with Pentland Group executive director Andy Long. Pentland holds a 55% stake in JD.

Cowgill, who has led JD Sports since 2004, told The Sunday Times he is “not going anywhere fast” and has “every intention of ensuring the long-term success” of the business.

JD Sports is also in a battle with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority to acquire Footasylum. The merger was blocked, then overturned on appeal. It is now being reassessed by the CMA. JD Sports owned 18.7% of the company at the time of the announcement.

The company also raised $634 million for future acquisitions in a February share placing. There are roughly 2,400 JD Sports retail locations around the world.