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Volume 6 No. 195


National Rugby League Melbourne Storm's "long-awaited sale is expected to be finalised next week" with a consortium of England-based businessmen with connections to Harlequins Rugby Union Club, according to Josh Massoud of the DAILY TELEGRAPH. Just more than three years since the salary cap scandal, "owners News Limited (publisher of The Daily Telegraph) is in the home stretch of negotiations that have carried on for the past six months." The new owners "have already insisted that current CEO Ron Gauci be replaced by former Harlequins boss Mark Evans." The "identities of the new owners are mysterious," but they "all hold a current stake in Harlequins and are New Zealanders." They will also "inherit the remainder" of the A$26M ($26.5M) guarantee Melbourne was "given as part of News Limited's exit from the game last year" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5/9).

U.S. retailer Foot Locker is buying Runners Point, the German athletic footwear and apparel chain, for €72M ($93.7M). The majority of shares in Runners Point are held by Hannover Finanz, a German private equity investor, while the remaining shares are owned by the chain’s senior management led by Otto Hurler and Harald Wittig, who will remain on the company’s board. Currently, Runners Point runs more than 200 stores across the German-speaking countries and the Netherlands, partly through franchises (ISPO). ... Sports Trade & Marketing Int'l, the pan-European buying group of sporting goods retailers, has a new member: Forum Sport. The Spanish chain is a subsidiary of Eroski, one of the country’s leading food retailers. STMI will increase its total volume of turnover at retail prices by €125M ($163M) to about €1.6B ($2.1B) (ISPO).