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Sports Direct rebrands Sports Eybl
Sports Eybl store in Austria. Photo: APA

Sports Direct rebrands Sports Eybl

Staff reporter · 9 May 2014, 15:25

Published: 09 May 2014 15:25 GMT+02:00

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The clothing and shoe retailer, led by Newcastle United's owner, Mike Ashley, completed its takeover of Sports Eybl & Sports Experts in April.

In May last year Sports Direct acquired an initial 51% share of the business for 10.5 million euros as well as taking on 30 million euros of its debts.

With the takeover now complete employees are worried about job losses, especially since the Eybl family has declined to talk to employees or the media about the company's future. 

Sports Direct currently has around 1,900 employees in Austria, with 16 Eybl and 34 Sports Experts branches across the country.

Sport Ebyl was founded by Ida and Ludwig Eybl in 1931 and opened its first shops in Wels, Upper Austria. 

"With the withdrawal of the founding family, the name Eybl will soon disappear from the store's branding," CEO Mike Weccardt told the Austrian Press Agency. 

Story continues below…

Weccardt could not provide any information on jobs or locations although he did say that "the new ownership structure will naturally require a closer connection to the corporate headquarters in Shirebrook (England), operationally and in communications with them." 

Sports Direct has thrived in the UK by offering sporting goods at low prices. It now operates in 16 countries, including Portugal, France and Slovenia.

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

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