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Fanatics looks to tap into growing popularity of football in the US with Kitbag acquisition

Sports merchandise company, Fanatics has acquired online sports retailer Kitbag in a move designed to pave the way for future growth and take advantage of the growing popularity of football in the US.

Kitbag

The Manchester-based company confirmed the takeover, reported to be around £11.5m, in a statement from its previous owners, Findel plc, which hailed the move as “a fantastic opportunity for future growth and expansion.”

Kitbag chief executive, Andy Anson, confirmed that it would be “business as usual” for the company’s 500 staff who would as international arm to new owners Fanatics.

He said: “The process of identifying the best strategic option for Kitbag has been comprehensive but it’s clear that Fanatics represents the best home for this business.

Anson added: “We envisage Kitbag and Fanatics continuing to operate their existing brands independently. But we’ll obviously collaborate closely to ensure the transfer of best practices and to maximise international opportunities.”

Doug Mack, chief executive of Fanatics, said Kitbag’s “expertise in soccer and strong portfolio of partners” would allow it to accelerate its US and international growth.

The move will be seen as a good fit for Fanatics ambitions to expand its international business and will give it a strong platform from which to take advantage of the surge in interest around football stateside.