Sports Direct is reportedly in talks to bid for Eastern Outfitters LLC, the parent group of U.S. discount chain Bob's Stores and outdoor retailer Eastern Mountain Sports.

Reuters cited people familiar with the matter, who added that this move is very much in line with the company’s previous attempts to enter the U.S. market. Sports Direct would be in talks with Eastern Outfitters about becoming a stalking horse bidder in a bankruptcy auction for the company, the same sources added.

Eastern Outfitters’ current owner is private investment firm Versa Capital Management LLC, which acquired Bob's and Eastern Mountain Sports out of the process of bankruptcy initiated by the former owner, Vestis Retail Group LLC. Now, Eastern Outfitters is understood to have hired law firm Cole Schotz PC to prepare for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, expected in the coming days.

Meanwhile, a regulatory filing to the London Stock Exchange on Thursday showed that Sports Direct had taken a 11.2 percent stake in peer British fashion retailer French Connection, through contracts for difference.

In this regard, French Connection said in a statement: “We note that Sports Direct has taken long-term significant stakes in a number of British retailers in recent years, and see this investment as a vote of confidence in the true potential of our company. We look forward to working with them more in the future.”





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