Canterbury changes hands, again

Performance  and lifestyle apparel brand Canterbury has once again changed hands,  being acquired by UK-based  privately-owned Pentland Group.

Today Pentland’s global reach spans 195 countries with a portfolio of apparel and footwear brands in sports, outdoor and fashion, including Speedo, Mitre, Lacoste, ProStar and Kickers. In 2010 global sales exceeded GBP1.3 billion.

UK-based JD Sports has sold Canterbury in a symbolic one pound deal just three years after the British retail chain rescued the firm from certain collapse, according to a report in Britain's Daily Mail Online.

Canterbury, which supplies sportswear to the England and South African rugby teams among many others, will be transferred to Britain's Pentland Group, reported  to be JD's largest shareholder.

If a majority of JD Sports' shareholders approve the deal, Pentland will also receive the firm's £22.7 million ($44.3 million) debt load.

JD Sports chose to sell the loss-making unit to focus more on the brands that return the bulk of its cash in the UK, including Blacks and Bank.

The UK company bought Canterbury in 2009 after the brand's European arm was placed in administration.

Canterbury is reported to makes most of its money from sales in Australia and New Zealand, which meant that JD Sports was forced to spread itself increasingly thinly to sustain the business.

The firm had hoped to make Canterbury into a global fashion brand but struggled to shake-off its long-standing association with sportswear, reported Daily Mail Online.

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