JD Sports set to make first move into the Netherlands - sources

LONDON Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:04am EST

LONDON Feb 20 (Reuters) - British retailer JD Sports Fashion is set to make its first move into the Netherlands after opening talks to take on a handful of properties there, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

JD, which sells clothing and footwear from brands including Nike and Adidas, is in talks to acquire around 15 leases from Dutch men's fashion firm Setpoint, the sources said.

One source said the deal, which is likely to be at a low cost to the group, was still subject to talks with landlords.

JD Sports declined to comment and Setpoint was not available for comment.

JD, which has the majority of its roughly 900 stores in Britain, sees a larger overseas portfolio as a key part of its growth strategy and has opened in France, Ireland and Spain through acquisitions in recent years.

It has also been on the acquisition trail at home, buying both British online shoe firm Cloggs and men's fashion retailer Gio Goi out of administration this month for undisclosed sums.

Last year the firm paid 20 million pounds to bring outdoor clothing retailer Blacks Leisure out of administration and has been busy pulling the business into shape since.

In January the group said one-off losses related to that purchase would push full-year group pretax profit to the low end of expectations - around 60 million pounds.

Shares in the group closed at 803 pence on Tuesday, valuing the business at around 600 million pounds ($927 million).