Apr 28, 2023
The verdict was eagerly awaited by French sport retailer Go Sport’s 2,150 employees, and was delivered on April 28. Go Sport, which has been in receivership since January 2023, has been acquired by Intersport France, the Grenoble commercial court has told the media. The court’s opinion was unanimously in favour of Intersport France’s bid, which will preserve 90% of the retailer’s jobs.
Intersport France, in collaboration with Qatari company Al-Mana, which will control Go Sport outside France, has acquired 72 Go Sport stores, maintaining 1,446 of the 1,574 retail jobs, and 185 head office jobs. The competing bid made by British group Frasers, via its Sports Direct subsidiary, involved acquiring 75 stores and preserving 1,477 jobs.
Intersport France paid €35 million to acquire Go Sport, against the €10 million offered by Frasers.
In 2022, Intersport France’s sales grew 16.1% to €3.26 billion. The group’s boss, Jacky Rihouet, has promised ”an ambitious industrial project” bolstered by an investment of approximately €150 million in seven to eight years, to get Go Sport back on track.
According to the court, “the other, more modest bids were not complementary with that of Intersport.”
On April 18, about 20 potential buyers appeared before the Grenoble court to illustrate their bids, while Go Sport’s owner, French group Hermione People & Brands, eventually decided not to submit a turnaround plan. The financial empire of HPB’s owner Michel Ohayon is caught in a perfect storm, since he is also under investigation for “organised gang fraud, repeated money laundering, bankruptcy and abuse of corporate assets.”
Go Sport was founded in 1978 and is based in Sassenage, France. Via the Groupe Go Sport company it currently operates 46 franchised stores outside France, while its subsidiary Go Sport France operates 82 directly owned stores, 87 franchised ones (between the Go Sport and Endurance Shop chains) as well as the Go Sport e-shop.
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