Mon, 17 Aug 2020 | BUSINESS NEWS
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has reportedly bid in excess of £30 million to acquire DW Sports from administrators. Dave Whelan’s DW Sports, which operated 73 gyms and 75 stores and employs over 1,700 people, went into administration earlier this month.
DW Sports website ceased trading with immediate effect when it entered administration, while 25 stores had already been closed down, with the remaining 50 entering closing-down sales. The company said it hoped to save as many gyms as possible but that it was “inevitable” that some would close down. Fitness First, which is also owned by the Whelan’s, was not affected.
Administrators BDO are thought to have been seeking a sale for around £20 million and it had been speculated that the Whelan family could look to buy back the business, less its liabilities. BDO says it has “received a number of serious and credible offers”.
Mike Ashley’s group have become well-known for targeting distressed high-street retailers, including Jack Wills and House of Fraser. Acquiring DW Sports would increase Frasers Group’s estate to 880 stores.
Frasers Group, which reported a 14 per cent increase in half-year sales to £2 billion in October 2019, last week delayed its annual results, saying that auditors required more time. Its shares are down 38 per cent to 283.4p since the start of this year, valuing the group at £1.5 billion.
Prior to entering administration, DW Sports’ most recent available accounts, for the year ended March 31 2019, show turnover of £222.2 million, with its fitness clubs generating £137.9 million in revenue and retail stores £84.3 million.
Its fixed assets stood at £146.9 million, current assets at £43.6 million, with net current liabilities of £58.7 million and net assets of around £55 million.
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