Sports Direct Sells Dunlop Tyre Brand To Sumitomo Rubber Industries.
Sports Direct has sold Dunlop tyre brand to Japanese tyre and rubber firm for $137.5 million. The sale to Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) was confirmed by the company – citing reasons that the company lacks the ‘bandwidth’ to develop and manage the brand.
The company says it has sold the label, known for its ‘Green Flash’ tennis trainers and tennis racquets, some of which were used by stars including John McEnroe, Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova, to Japanese tyre company Sumitomo Rubber Industries for $137.5 million.
It is understood that the sale is part of Sports Direct founder and chief executive Mike Ashley’s plan to push the company towards the luxury end of the high street on the back of complaints from some of its more upmarket suppliers.
Sumitomo, which already has a relationship with Dunlop having acquired its European tyre business back in the 1980s, makes tyres for passenger cars, rally cars and other vehicles, as well as sporting goods including balls, racquets, bags and shoes.
In a statement Sports Direct said the Dunlop sale was “in line” with its “stated aspiration to become the ‘Selfridges’ of sports retail including its renewed focus on its core UK business and the development of its relationships with third party brands”.