Finance Notes: Sports Direct Reportedly In Talks To Acquire Finish Line
Mike Ashley, the "maverick retailer who founded and controls Sports Direct, may be going stateside." Sports Direct, in which Ashley has a 61% stake, is reportedly in talks to acquire U.S. sporting goods retailer Finish Line. The company did not "respond to calls" seeking comment. It is "easy to see why Ashley may be looking across the Atlantic." Sports Direct has a "strong balance sheet, but net debt is creeping up." At the end of April, Sports Direct had net debt of £182.1M ($243.8M), up from £99.7M "in the year earlier" (BLOOMBERG, 9/29).
Chelsea's "success in gaining" a £57.5M ($76.9M) transfer fee from Atlético Madrid for Diego Costa was "down to" its willingness to "comply with the Spanish club’s unorthodox payment structure." Atlético was "anxious to avoid paying for Costa during the present financial year because of concerns that the outlay would put them in breach" of La Liga’s Financial Fair Play regulations. To avoid this, the Spanish club "agreed to take him on loan for the rest of the season," for which Chelsea will receive a modest fee of £5M ($6.7M) (LONDON TIMES, 9/30).