Cash rich JD Sports ahead in race to buy Arcadia's key warehouse
JD Sports Fashion may have lost out in the bidding race for some of Arcadia’s prime fashion brands but it has had more luck in the real estate stakes.
The UK sportswear giant is understood to be in lead position to buy Arcadia’s key logistics hub in the Midlands, with its hefty £60 million-plus price tag not putting off a flurry of offers for the Daventry warehouse complex.
Reports say JD Sports Fashion has entered into exclusive talks to buy Arcadia Group's hub, beating major online giants including Boohoo, Amazon and eBay to the prime location.
And JD Sports certainly has the financial muscle. The company announced last month it has amassed a £464.2 million war chest after selling 6% of its shares, to invest in “future strategic opportunities”.
Although a deal has yet to be concluded, the price JD Sports would have to pay to acquire it would trigger the repayment of a £50m loan to Arcadia made by former owner Sir Philip Green’s family last year, and secured against the Daventry site.
With e-commerce demand having accelerated rapidly during the coronavirus pandemic, supply chains have needed to take on extra capacity to maintain fulfilment commitments, ensuring fully functioning centres. So it’s little wonder Arcadia’s Daventry centre has been a prime target for digital retailers.
JD Sports was reportedly among the unsuccessful bidders for TopShop and TopMan, which were sold last month by Deloitte, Arcadia's administrator, to ASOS.
Arcadia’s only other remaining asset is the lease on the flagship Topshop Oxford Circus store, which is undergoing a sale process run by KPMG.
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