The U.K. owner of Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports has sold the two sporting goods and clothing brands to a company that focuses on intellectual property rights management through divisions in music, video networks and brands.
Frasers Group plc has sold Bob’s and EMS to GoDigital Media Group (GoDigital) for $70 million in cash. Frasers, then trading as Sports Direct International, acquired the two brands out of bankruptcy in 2017 as part of a bid to boost its U.S. presence.
EMS operates some 20 locations in seven U.S. Northeastern states and has a robust e-commerce platform. Bob’s operates 22 stores in the Northeast.
“The acquisition of EMS and Bob’s is a major step in our strategy to generate synergy between content, community, and commerce,” said Jason Peterson, CEO, GoDigital. “The outdoor adventure and work markets perfectly align with our business model to serve specialized audiences with huge potential. We seek to sell through a combination of owned and operated e-commerce storefronts, third-party digital storefronts, and traditional retail partners. This transaction also presents a great opportunity to apply our prowess in product development, supply chain, and e-commerce across all of our brands.”
The teams of both companies have been retained and are pivotal to the continuity of the businesses, Peterson added.
“I am extremely excited that we found the right investors who see the vast potential in our company and have the vision and expertise to help us unlock,” said Dave Barton, president and CEO, EMS and Bob’s. I am confident that our hard work to create a solid foundation will quickly allow us to execute their strategy.”
GoDigital described itself as “a diversified multinational conglomerate focused on technology-enabled and vertically integrated IP rights management through its operating subsidiaries.”