Tiso, Scotland's de facto outdoor store monopoly, has sold a controlling interest to JD Sports Fashion PLC, it was announced yesterday. What this might mean for the chain is anyone's guess.
The sell-off, for an undisclosed sum, is being billed as a 'strategic investment' that will help the firm develop its existing businesses George Fisher, Alpine Bikes and ski shop Blues.
Tiso will join JD's Outdoor division, alongside the Millets and Blacks chains.
'This investment will see bank debt at the Scottish based retailer significantly reduced and the business recapitalised' read a Tiso statement yesterday.
'JD [...] were attracted to Tiso by its diversity of brands and product categories alongside its strong heritage and reputation for quality. Moving forward Tiso Group fascias will form an important part of JD’s overall strategy for Outdoor.'
'Tiso are pleased to have formed a relationship with a strong strategic partner which will allow future growth and development to be built on the foundations established over the last fifty years. Most recently Tiso has undertaken a review of its estate and strengthened its management team.'
David McCorquodale from KPMG, who advised on the sale, told the BBC:
'The outdoor retail market is consolidating and scale with national coverage is an important aspect of meeting consumer needs. To bring the Tiso brand into an ambitious larger group that can offer the full range of choice is a logical step for the Tiso family to take.'
JD's executive chairman Peter Cowgill will take over as chairman at Tiso, while Chris Tiso stays on as chief executive of the group. Tiso, which currently owns 10 shops in Scotland, will still be based in Edinburgh.