UK: Sports Direct poised to net Hot Tuna
Sporting goods and retail company Sports Direct is poised to acquire the Hot Tuna surf fashion brand in a GBP950,000 (US$1.45m) deal.
The board of Hot Tuna, which would become an investment “shell” company after the sale of the Hot Tuna brand and stock, is recommending that shareholders approve the deal in a meeting on 6 February.
The proceeds of the sale to Sports Direct subsidiary Brands Holdings – already the owner of labels including Slazenger and Dunlop – would be used partly to pay off debts, leaving cash balances of about GBP0.6m, Hot Tuna said.
The shell company, to be renamed Concha, might then become a target for companies looking to gain access to the AIM exchange – where Hot Tuna is currently listed – via a reverse takeover.
The potential acquisition for Sports Direct comes after the company expressed its disappointment over last week’s sale of the ailing Blacks retail business to rival JD Sports.
Hot Tuna had put its eponymous brand up for sale in November last year following a run of poor results, dwindling sales and rising debts.
Under the terms of the Brands Holdings acquisition of Hot Tuna, current chairman Francis Ball would step down to be replaced by Mark Battles, while current Hot Tuna directors Geoffrey O’Connell and Oscar Verden would also resign, with Marcus Yeoman staying on as a director.
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