UK retail empire Frasers Group’s acquisition of the 34-store German Sportscheck sporting goods chain from Signa Retail Department Store Holding GmbH, announced in October, is now open to doubt.
Signa Holdings announced on 29 November that it had applied to the Austrian authorities to commence self administration. A day later, Signa-subsidiary Sportscheck announced that it too had applied for insolvency.
Frasers then exercised its right under the agreement to withdraw from the transaction. However, the company added that it intends to work with the appointed preliminary insolvency administrator of SportScheck with a view to acquiring the business out of administration. “Frasers remains committed to our ambition to become the leading sports retailer in EMEA,” the company said in a statement.
Sportscheck, which has been established for over 75 years, has 34 stores throughout Germany as well as an online business catering for Germany and Austria.
Frasers Group, whose brands include Sports Direct, said that the acquisition would enable it to increase its presence in Germany, one of the biggest sports markets in Europe.
Munich-headquartered Sportscheck produces an annual revenue of about €350 million and attracts over 13 million visitors per year.
The deal’s completion was to be subject to merger control clearance and that was originally expected in the first quarter of 2024.