Sports World is to float on the London Stock Exchange in a deal expected to value the company at around £2 billion. With a valuation ranging between 250p and 310p per share, the IPO is expected to value the entire company at between £1.8 billion and £2.23 billion.
The group, which will trade under the name Sports Direct International, also owns the rights to some key sportswear brands including Dunlop Slazenger, Kangol and golf brand Donnay.
“We believe Sports Direct has the potential to become the leading, most profitable sports retailer in the world. Following a review of the options, we have decided that listing the business is an important step in achieving this aim,” said Mike Ashley, who also owns stakes in John David Group and JJB Sports. The entrepreneur recently also bought a 29.7-per-cent stake in Blacks Leisure.
Sports World, which runs a chain of 370 sports stores across Britain, delivered pretax profits of £74 million in 2005. The company is tipped to report earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of £180 million to £200 million, and pretax profits of £125 million to £130 million for the year to April 2007.