The UK's largest sportswear retailer Sports Direct has increased its stake in Iconix Brand Group.

Sports Direct upped its stake in the company from 4.3 million ordinary shares to 5.6 million shares, equal to 11.5 percent of issued common stock of Iconix. The move comes not long after Sports Directs acquired a stake, which represents indirect economic interest through contracts for difference of 9 percent.

Although Sports Direct stresses that the stake is "consistent with its long standing strategy of taking strategic stakes," according to a regulatory filing with the SEC on Wednesday the British sportswear company still does not have "the power to vote or direct the vote, or power to dispose or direct the disposition of any of the shares."

The sportswear company also revealed a small take in US firm Dick's Sporting Goods, of 2.3 percent of issued common stock, which is also held through indirect economic interests. According to a statement from Sports Direct "the main rationale for these stakes is to allow Sports Direct to hopefully build a relationship and develop commercial partnerships with the relevant parties."

In addition, the stakes acquirement is also designed to help the company build relationships "with key suppliers and brands." However, it remains unclear if the stakes in both Iconix and Dick's are part of an early push into the US to test the waters, or if there is another reason behind Sport Directs investment.

 

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