Sports Direct International plc continues to increase its stake in Iconix Brand Group Inc.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, the company said it had an economic interest in nearly 7 million shares of the company, or about 14.4 percent of the shares outstanding. The stake represents indirect economic interests through contracts for difference. It first disclosed its stake in Iconix on Jan. 5, which showed 4.3 million shares, or a 9 percent interest. That was followed on Jan. 16 by a disclosure of additional shares that raised its stake to 5.6 million shares, or an 11.5 percent interest.
Sports Direct said in a statement on Jan. 16 that its stake is “strategic,” and the regulatory filings all indicate that the company “does not have the power to vote or direct the vote, or power to dispose or direct the disposition, of any of the shares.”
Sports Direct said at the time, “The main rationale for these stakes is to allow Sports Direct to hopefully build a relationship and develop commercial partnerships with the relevant parties. They also help the company to build relationships with key suppliers and brands.”
Sports Direct also disclosed a stake in Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., at 2.1 million shares, or 2.3 percent of the issued common stock, held through indirect economic interests.
Sports Direct offers a wide range of products and brands in its stores and online. It has long been keen on Umbro, which Iconix acquired in 2012 for $225 million.