Sports Direct International to acquire freehold property at Oxford Street, London from CIP Property Limited

Shirebrook, UK, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Acquisition of new Oxford Street freehold

Sports Direct International plc (“Sports Direct”) announces that it has, through its wholly owned subsidiary SDI (Oxford Street) Limited, agreed to acquire the freehold property at 161-167 Oxford Street, London and 36 Poland Street, London (the “Property”) from CIP Property (AIPT) Limited, a nominee of Aviva Investors.

Sports Direct intends to redevelop the Property, following which it will use the retail part of the Property as a new FLANNELS.com flagship store, and the office space above as the Group’s new London office replacing its former offices at New Cavendish Street. The consideration payable for the Property is £108m, which will be funded from a combination of its existing resources and the Group’s bank facility. Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur by the end of April 2016.

Ends.

Sports Direct International plc
Dave Forsey, Chief Executive
Matt Pearson, Acting Chief Financial Officer
T: 0344 245 9200

KBA
Keith Bishop
T: 020 7734 9995

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

Source: SPORTS DIRECT INTERNATIONAL PLC

Sports Direct International plc clarifies the role and terms in relation to Michael Murray

Shirebrook, UK, 2016-1-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sports Direct International plc (“Sports Direct” or “the Company”) wishes to clarify the role and terms in relation to Michael Murray.

Michael Murray heads up the Company’s property team for the UK and internationally, which is primarily tasked with finding new sites for both our larger format stores and our combined retail and gym units.

Michael has a consultancy arrangement with the Company, is not paid a salary, and contrary to recent incorrect press reports is not a director of any company within the Sports Direct Group. His remuneration is based solely on creating value, with the Company’s non-executive directors overseeing an independent review annually and deciding, in their absolute discretion, how much of any increased value (up to a maximum of 25%) shall be paid to Michael.

– Ends –

Powerscourt​​​​​​

T. 0207 250 1446

Rory Godson

Peter Ogden

Lisa Kavanagh

Notes to Editors

Sports Direct is the UK’s leading sports retailer by revenue and operating profit, with approximately 400 stores across the UK. The Group provides an unrivalled range of products, offering exceptional quality and unbeatable value, from a wide variety of third-party and Group-owned brands, both in-store and online. Sports Direct now operates in 20 countries in Europe. For more information please visit: www.sportsdirectplc.com  

 

>This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

Sports Direct International plc responds to unfair portrayal of its employment practices

Shirebrook, United Kingdom, 2015-12-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Board (“we” or “us”) of Sports Direct International plc (“Sports Direct” or “the Company”) notes the continued commentary regarding the working conditions of its employees and casual workers. To date, Sports Direct has sought to address questions relating to its employment practices on a case-by-case basis directly with the enquirer, but it has become evident that by doing so various parties have chosen to ignore the facts provided and have continued to present an unfair portrayal of the Company’s employment practices. Sadly, it is also now clear that some others have chosen to rely on this portrayal when making public statements about Sports Direct, rather than obtaining information directly from the Company before commenting.

The Board takes its responsibilities towards all the Company’s stakeholders, be they staff, contactors, suppliers or customers, extremely seriously. Without our commitment to our staff and the implementation of a performance-led culture which encourages success, there is no way Sports Direct would have been able to grow from a single sports shop over 33 years ago to the global retailer it is today. The Board believes Sports Direct is a major contributor to all the communities and countries in which it operates; not least, since Sports Direct became a public business in 2007, it has contributed over a billion pounds in tax to the UK exchequer.

The Board is today issuing this statement setting out the key facts about the terms and conditions of Sports Direct’s workers. We hope that by doing so, the unfounded criticisms will cease. To be clear, we value the continuing hard work of the Company’s entire workforce, both employees and casual workers.

Warehouse agency workers 

Sports Direct directly employs a number of staff in the Shirebrook warehouse. The remaining workers in the warehouse have contracts with one of two main agencies the Company uses to staff the warehouse. These contracts are on an agreed (between the worker and the agency) contracted hours basis. No Sports Direct employees are engaged in the Shirebrook warehouse on a ‘zero hour’ contract, and the main agencies have confirmed to us that none of their workers are engaged on a ‘zero hour’ contract.

The two main agencies that Sports Direct uses to provide workers at Shirebrook supply workers to hundreds of companies nationally including many retail warehouses. The agencies use the same core terms and conditions for all their employees (totalling c. 35,000 across the UK), with some limited localised variations. A review of all the terms and conditions applicable to the agency workers supplied to Sports Direct (including, inter alia, the operation of the strike system) will be undertaken, and we will be considering implementing appropriate additional variations once that review is completed.

Neither agency workers nor employees are subjected to ‘naming and shaming’ via publication of a league table identifying individuals by name. The Company uses an anonymous ranking system to monitor performance. An individual’s unique number (known only to the employment agencies, the Company and the worker) benchmarks staff against the anonymised data of their peers. Individuals can check their performance, should they wish to do so.

The warehouse tannoy is not used to ‘harangue’ or ‘name and shame’ staff; the tannoy is used for logistical reasons, for example, to redeploy staff to other areas of the building or to let staff know that a truck is waiting for stock to be dispatched.

Sports Direct does not penalise its staff for being ill. Sanctions may be applied if workers fail to follow the Company’s reasonable sickness absence notification procedures, which are in line with industry best practice. The Company is not aware of any occasions on which sick children have not been able to be collected from school by their parents. Sports Direct allows staff time off to look after dependants in such circumstances.

Neither Sports Direct nor the agencies it uses discriminate in favour of or against any applicant or worker on the basis of nationality or for any other reason. Both the Company and the agencies with which it works are equal opportunities employers. There are workers of various nationalities, including local British citizens, currently working in the warehouse. Neither the Company nor the agencies distinguish between workers of different nationalities; Sports Direct and the agencies value the contribution of all workers equally.

Sadly, all companies have to be cognisant of theft from warehouse operations. As such, there is a need for some security measures to be in place at Shirebrook. One simple and sensible way of managing this issue is to ensure that workers do not wear the clothing brands stocked in the warehouse. This is not an unusual practice in many retail companies’ warehouse operations. There are of course numerous other brands that staff can easily wear.

All employees, agency workers and visitors, including executive management and Board members, are subject to random searches on leaving the Shirebrook warehouse. Trained security staff conduct random searches and the Company continues to keep the process under review, with the aim of reducing any inconvenience to staff as much as possible.

Retail casual workers 

Sports Direct is not alone in using ‘zero hour’ contracts. A significant number of retailers use ‘zero hour’ contracts in their shops (as well as other companies, government and local government employers), as all parties appreciate the flexibility provided by these contracts.

Sports Direct ‘zero hour’ terms of engagement include holiday pay, and sick pay is payable where the relevant criteria for statutory sick pay are met. Sports Direct ‘zero hour’ terms do not prohibit a casual worker seeking work from another company.

A significant number of casual workers have moved from ‘zero hour’ terms into permanent employment when the circumstances allow (for example, when the worker wishes to apply for a permanent role if one becomes available). Many of these workers have developed very successful careers within Sports Direct, including the Chief Executive, senior head office management, regional managers, area managers, store managers and many more.

Staff rewards 

Virtually all casual retail workers are eligible for bonus payments in addition to their contracted hourly rate of pay. In November 2015, over 80% of retail casual workers achieved a performance-related bonus.

Sports Direct also operates one of the most successful share-based employee incentive schemes in the UK, which is open to around 2,500 participating employees.

The historical and current bonus arrangements are an integral part of the Company’s reward culture and have led directly to a significant improvement in Sports Direct’s financial performance. These arrangements have ensured that the staff are able to share in the Company’s success.

Confidential hotline 

Sports Direct operates an anonymous hotline that enables its staff to report concerns and/or make complaints confidentially, with no risk of reprisal.

Next Steps 

Sports Direct always seeks to improve and do things better, listens to criticism and acts where appropriate. With that in mind, as noted above, the Board has agreed that Mike Ashley shall personally oversee a review of all agency worker terms and conditions to ensure the Company does not just meet its legal obligations, but also provides a good environment for the entire workforce. We expect him to start that work in the New Year.

– Ends –

Powerscourt​​​​​​       T. 0207 250 1446

Rory Godson
Peter Ogden
Lisa Kavanagh

Notes to Editors

Sports Direct is the UK’s leading sports retailer by revenue and operating profit, with approximately 400 stores across the UK. The Group provides an unrivalled range of products, offering exceptional quality and unbeatable value, from a wide variety of third-party and Group-owned brands, both in-store and online. Sports Direct now operates in 20 countries in Europe. For more information please visit: www.sportsdirectplc.com

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

Sports Direct International plc enters into sale and purchase agreement with Sandra Minor to purchase shares in Warrnambool

Shirebrook, United Kingdom, 2015-10-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sports Direct International plc (“Sports Direct” or the “Group”), the UK’s leading sports retailer, announces that it has entered into: (i) a sale and purchase agreement with Sandra Minor (a minority shareholder in Warrnambool) to purchase shares in Warrnambool which, following completion of that purchase will result in Sports Direct owning just over 50% of Warrnambool (the Purchase Agreement); and (ii) a conditional put and call option agreement (the Option Agreement) with Mark Heaton, Hugh Heaton, John O’Neill, Warrnambool and Katipo Limited in relation to the remaining shares in Warrnambool which are not already owned by Sports Direct (Sports Direct currently holds 50% of the issued share capital of Warrnambool).

Warrnambool is the holding company of Heatons, a retail business which specialises in retailing men’s, women’s and children’s clothing together with homewares, with 44 stores in the Republic of Ireland and ten stores in Northern Ireland. 27 of the 44 stores in the Republic of Ireland incorporate a dedicated “SportsWorld” section within the store and each of the ten stores in Northern Ireland either incorporates a “Sports Direct” branded section or is located immediately adjacent to a “Sports Direct” outlet which forms part of the premises. In addition, Warrnambool owns and operates a further five standalone “Sports Direct” branded stores in Northern Ireland.

The total cash consideration payable under the Purchase Agreement and the conditional Option Agreement is €47.5m, which will be funded from the Group’s operating cashflow and existing bank facilities. The Purchase Agreement and the conditional Option Agreement are both conditional upon merger clearance from the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission being obtained. If such merger clearance is obtained, completion of the purchase of shares from Sandra Minor under the Purchase Agreement will take place shortly thereafter. The options are exercisable at various times during a period commencing after such merger clearance has been obtained and ending on 2 July 2017.

For the year ended 30 April 2015, Warrnambool had consolidated revenue of €219.3 million, gross assets of €158.0 million, EBITDA of €17.2 million and profit before tax of €10.0 million.

Dave Forsey, Chief Executive Officer of Sports Direct, commented: “We look forward to accelerating investment into the existing store portfolio and strengthening the Heatons and Sports Direct brands across Ireland”.

For further information, please contact:

Sports Direct International plc​​​
T. 0344 245 9200
Dave Forsey, Chief Executive Officer
Matt Pearson, Acting Chief Financial Officer

Powerscourt​​​​​​
T. 0207 250 1446
Rory Godson
Peter Ogden
Nick Brown

Notes to Editors

Sports Direct is the UK’s leading sports retailer by revenue and operating profit, with approximately 400 stores across the UK. The Group provides an unrivalled range of products, offering exceptional quality and unbeatable value, from a wide variety of third-party and Group-owned brands, both in-store and online. Sports Direct now operates in 20 countries in Europe.

For more information please visit: www.sportsdirectplc.com