Monday, January 14, 2019

News: Go Outdoors nets Fishing Republic

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Rotherham-based Fishing Republic has been bought out of administration by Go Outdoors.

A deal for the Eastwood company, one of the largest retailers of fishing tackle in the UK, was confirmed at the end of 2018, saving 111 jobs.

At the time, Leonard Curtis Business Rescue & Recovery confirmed that Andrew Poxon and Julien Irving - who were appointed as Joint Administrators - completed the sale of the company to an unconnected third party.

Now Go Outdoors has been confirmed as the mystery buyer.

Based in Sheffield, Go Outdoors is a nationwide omni-channel retailer catering for the outdoor enthusiasts and was founded by Paul Caplan and John Graham in 1998. It was acquired by JD Sports Fashion plc in 2016.

Lee Bagnall, CEO of the Outdoor Division at JD Sports, said: "We're delighted to have secured the business and are very excited about the acquisition.

"Our GO Outdoors fishing business is already significant and this gives Fishing Republic and some of our branded partners a huge opportunity for the future."

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Fishing Republic floated on the AIM stock exchange in 2015 and raised millions to help carry out its expansion plans. However, turnaround plans were required during 2017 to tackle "a significant deterioration in trading." Growth plans had been based on snapping up smaller competitors, opening destination stores and boosting online sales.

After certain major shareholders said that they were no longer willing to provide further short-term financial assistance, shares were suspended and the group's future options were being assessed. At the time of the deal Fishing Republic operated 14 UK stores.

It had previously been announced that Daniel Quinn, who has experience in senior commercial roles at Tesco and GO Outdoors, would be joining the Fishing Republic board as CEO in October 2018. However, the company was forced to admit that Quinn had agreed to assist in assessing options for the business but would not be taking up his role as CEO or join the board.

The business has continued to trade throughout and it is thought that Go Outdoors guaranteeing to keep staff on was a decisive factor in it being selected as the buyer.

Go Outdoors website

Images: Go Outdoors

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