October 31, 2018 / 4:01 PM / 21 days ago

UPDATE 1-Sports Direct paid $10 mln for Evans Cycles purchase

(Adds details on employees, share price, background)

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Sports Direct International Plc, the sportswear group controlled by billionaire Mike Ashley, said on Wednesday it had paid 8 million pounds ($10.2 million) to buy Evans Cycles after it fell into administration.

Sports Direct, which plans to keep half of Evans’ 62 stores open, also said about 2 million pounds of the acquisition price was used to fund Evans Cycles’ October payroll.

The company has added to an already lengthy list of British investments by buying Evans Cycles on Tuesday.

Britain has seen a string of retail collapses this year and Ashley, who also owns English Premier League soccer club Newcastle United, bought department store group House of Fraser for 90 million pounds in August.

97-year-old Evans Cycles employs around 1,300 people and Sports Direct “welcomed” the cycle retailer’s staff, adding that it would build “mutually beneficial relationships” with Evans Cycles’ main suppliers.

Shares in Sports Direct, down 15 percent over the last year, were up 2.03 percent at 327.6 pence at 1547 GMT. ($1 = 0.7809 pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Shounak Dasgupta)

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