Sports Direct Buys Republic

British sporting goods retailer will continue trading under the brand's name.

LONDON — British sporting goods retailer Sports Direct has purchased the ailing Republic chain, and will continue trading under the brand’s name. Earlier this month Ernst & Young was appointed administrator of Leeds, U.K.-based fashion retailer Republic, which began suffering poor trading results starting last fall.

“The brand Republic is well recognized and well respected by customers for offering quality, high-fashion goods and it is a testament to its strength that Sports Direct has made this investment to secure its future and high street presence,” said joint administrator Hunter Kelly on Thursday.

The sale, which includes 114 stores, stock, Republic’s Web site and own brands, including SoulCal, Fabric, and Crafted, will preserve more than 2,100 jobs. Sports Direct is traded on the London Stock Exchange. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

TPG Capital, which owned the brand, had twice been forced to inject more cash to keep the chain afloat since it acquired it in 2010.

“Republic suffered poor trading results in the autumn, and whilst sales picked up in December there has been a sudden and rapid decline in sales in late January,” said Kelly earlier this month. “The impact on cash flows has resulted in the business being unable to continue to operate outside of an insolvency process.”

Republic began as a men’s denim retailer in 1986 under the Best Jeans brand in Leeds. It currently offers casual fashion, under multiple brands to young adults, including G-Star, Diesel and Firetrap.