Dick’s Sporting throws United Kingdom’s JJB Sports a lifeline

PITTSBURGH, Thu Apr 5, 2012 – U.S. retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is investing 20 million pounds ($31.8 million) in Britain’s JJB Sports, throwing a lifeline to the loss-making UK chain and signaling international ambitions for the U.S. business.

Dick’s, which runs over 550 stores in the United States, said on Thursday the deal would eventually see it become a controlling shareholder in JJB and would act as a “stepping stone” to its future growth and development.

JJB said the deal, along with a separate agreement with key supplier Adidas, would help it to accelerate a turnaround plan which has included closing stores and revamping others to focus on sporting families and keen amateurs.