JD Sports Fashion Plc said on Tuesday it has further diversified its business with the acquisition of rugby brand Canterbury for 6.5 million pounds
JD said it purchased the key trading assets and trade of Canterbury Europe Limited along with the global rights to the Canterbury and Canterbury of New Zealand brands, which are over 100 years old, from the firm's administrators.
The deal to buy Canterbury, the current brand shirt sponsor of the international rugby union teams of South Africa and Australia, builds on JD's purchase of the Kooga Rugby brand last month.
The deal has raised hopes that some of the Stockport-based firm's sponsorship deals will be maintained.
In the UK, Canterbury makes the shirts for rugby teams including the Scottish national side, Leinster, Wasps and Cardiff.
Canterbury Europe got into difficulties after expanding into other sports, such as football and cricket.
It made shirts for Portsmouth Football Club and Yorkshire and Hampshire cricket clubs.