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JD Sports acquires Ark assets 1 July 2013

Sports retailer JD Sports has acquired the business and assets of fashion retailer Ark out of administration, securing 160 jobs.

David Acland and Lila Thomas of Begbies Traynor were appointed as joint administrators.

Acland, partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “This sale has protected a large number of vital jobs in the retail sector.

“At the same time, it enables JD Sports to continue its ambitious expansion plans, following on as it does from other key strategic acquisitions earlier in the year.

“It’s no secret that many retail businesses are facing a hugely challenging environment at the moment, and this deal is a welcome piece of good news for the sector.”

Ark, owned by Rett Retail Ltd, will continue to trade in its current form from its Leeds office and the current management team has been retained.
The sale will secure 10 stores and the jobs of 160 of Ark’s 200 employees.

As part of the deal, uneconomic stores in Norwich, Cambridge and Merry Hill, and the Hearts and Bows store in Manchester have been closed.

Tom Edge, director of Rett Retail and Ark Fashion, added: “Becoming part of the JD group is the best deal for all those involved in Rett Retail.”

In April 2013 JD Sports’ outdoor clothing division reported a £15.5m operating loss as a result of restructuring Blacks Leisure, which it acquired out of administration in January 2012.



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