Sports Direct buys Evans Cycles, hopes to keep 50% of stores open


The firm hopes to keep 50% of stores open in the future, warning that "some stores will have to close".

The acquisition has triggered fears about the future of hundreds of jobs at the struggling specialist chain, with Sports Direct outlining plans to close up to half of its 62 stores.

The retailer, which employs around 1,300 staff, has 60 stores across the UK. We will make contact with landlords over the next few days and discuss the future of individual stores, ' Ashley added.

The company, which had been seeking a buyer, went into administration on Tuesday and was then immediately sold in a process sometimes known as a "pre-pack".

Evans Cycles is the latest purchase for Ashley who also bought House of Fraser out of administration in August for £90m.

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The buyout comes after the company also took over House of Fraser.

It emerged Evans was eyeing a rescue deal in September, when the retailer held talks with its lenders to seek an urgent capital injection.

Potential buyers considered bids for the high street chain, including the likes of Halfords and JD Sports, but it was Sports Direct, owned by controversial businessman Mike Ashley that managed to secure the sale.

Joint administrator Matt Callaghan said 2018 had been "a very hard trading year for the business" because of poor winter weather and lack of money to invest in stores or its online platform.

'A combination of losses, the capital expenditure requirements and tightening credit has led to a liquidity crunch'.