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Hibbett to Be Acquired by JD Sports

Corporate , NSGA News • April 23, 2024

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA (April 23, 2024) – Sporting goods retailer Hibbett announced a definitive agreement to have all its outstanding shares acquired by JD Sports Fashion at $87.50 per share in cash, which represents an aggregate enterprise value of approximately $1.1 billion.

Birmingham-based Hibbett, which was founded in 1945, had 1,169 Hibbett, City Gear and Sports Additions specialty stores in 36 states as of February 3, according to a release from the company. JD Sports had 3,313 stores worldwide as of March 2.

Mike Longo will continue as Hibbett President and CEO and Jared Briskin will take the role of Hibbett Chief Operating Officer (COO). Hibbett will maintain its headquarters in Birmingham.

“Today’s announcement is a true testament to all that our Hibbett/City Gear teams have built over the years and reinforces the strength of our brands, our close relationships with our vendor partners and our team of dedicated colleagues across the country,” Longo said in a release from Hibbett. “JD Sports is a well-respected global leader in athletic footwear and fashion that, like us, is committed to the communities and customers it serves. We are thrilled to begin this new chapter with JD Sports and believe the transaction will enable us to fulfill our customer-oriented mission even more effectively for years to come.”

Anthony Crudele, Chairman of the Hibbett Board of Directors said: “The transaction with JD Sports will create immediate, certain and substantial value for Hibbett stockholders while ensuring that our brands are well-positioned to continue to serve the customers and communities that have always been the central focus of Hibbett’s business. The Board unanimously agreed that this transaction is the best path to maximize the value of Hibbett, and I am proud of what this company and our outstanding team have accomplished for all stakeholders.”

JD Sports started in 1981 as a single store in England and now has locations in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia.

“Today is a significant milestone for JD Sports as we take this transformative step as a global leader in the sports fashion industry through this transaction with Hibbett,” said Regis Schultz, CEO of JD Sports. “We’re thrilled to acquire Hibbett/City Gear, combining two of the most respected athletic retail brands in the United States, as we continue to strategically expand our global multi-brand platform.

“With Hibbett’s highly complementary footprint, this transaction represents a logical next step in our strategic growth plans, further enabling us to meet the dynamic needs of consumers globally.”

The Hibbett Board unanimously approved the definitive merger agreement and transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2024, subject to receipt of Hibbett stockholder approval, receipt of required regulatory approvals, and the satisfaction of other customary conditions to closing. The transaction is not subject to a financing condition.

Following the closing of the transaction, Hibbett will join the JD Sports family of athletic footwear and fashion retail brands and will cease to be a publicly traded company. Longo joined Hibbett in 2019 as President in CEO after its acquisition of City Gear, where he had been CEO since 2006. Briskin joined Hibbett in 1996 and was appointed as Executive Vice President of Merchandising in 2021.

Hibbett, a longtime member of the National Sporting Goods Association, was founded in 1945 by Rufus Hibbett as Dixie Supply Company. It started selling school and team apparel in 1949 and was renamed Hibbett and Sons in 1952 after sons Ike and George Hibbett joined their father’s business.

Mickey Newsome, a Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame inductee in 2007, joined Hibbett in the mid-1960s as an outside salesman and was instrumental in the company’s growth as he moved up to store manager and President. Newsome also served NSGA and the sporting goods industry as a member of its Board of Directors and Board Chairman and was a member and chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee.

Cathy Pryor, who will be inducted into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame with the Class of 2024 on May 21 at the NSGA 2024 Leadership Conference, also played a vital role in Hibbett’s growth. She was with the company from 1988-2020 in leadership roles in store operations. She also served NSGA and the industry on the Board, was the first female Board chair and also a member and chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee.

Hibbett grew to 13 stores in 1979 and had 76 stores when it became a publicly traded company in 1996. It grew to 180 stores in 16 states in 1999, 688 stores in 23 states in 2007 and reached the 1,000-store mark in 2015.


JD Sports Acquisition City Gear Sports Additions Specialty Stores England UK Europe Dixie Supply Company Hibbett Cathy Pryor