Page last updated at 09:57 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 10:57 UK

JD Sports to enter French market

JD Sports website
JD Sports is trying to break into continental Europe

Sportswear retailer JD Sports has bought its first stores outside the UK and Ireland with the acquisition of the French footwear company Chausport.

JD Sports said it paid 8m euros (£7m) in cash for the firm but added that it had acquired 2m euros of debt.

The retailer said Chausport's current management team would remain in place.

Chausport has 78 stores in France. The acquisition will give the British firm "a foothold in a new and sizeable European market", it said.

JD Sports has 400 outlets in the UK and Ireland.

Altium Securities analyst David Stoddart said the company had discussed the possibility of expansion earlier this year.

"This should not come as a surprise," he said.

"On the other hand, the deal takes it into France, a country that has not been kind to UK retailers in the past."

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