RPC joins mix as Sports Direct buys stricken retailer Republic

RPC has become the latest firm to win a mandate amid the recent spate of UK high-street casualties after being appointed by Sports Direct to advise on its purchase of Republic.

Corporate partner Karen Hendy is understood to have led the RPC team acting for the sports retailer on its acquisition of parts of Republic’s business, assets and brands from the administrators at Ernst & Young (E&Y). The deal value has not been disclosed.

The buyer will acquire 114 Republic stores, the bulk of its stock and the fashion group’s website and brands, including SoulCal, Fabric and Crafted.

The administrators were advised by DLA Piper restructuring partners Colin Ashford and Mark Jackson, both in Leeds, alongside senior restructuring associates Clare Christopher and James Morris.

Background to this deal:

Linklaters, which was also brought in to advise the administrators and Republic’s lenders (13 February 2013), is not understood to have taken a role on the Sports Direct deal. The firm and DLA Piper are both advising the E&Y team on the case more widely, with the latter winning the job thanks to a longstanding relationship with E&Y partner Hunter Kelly, one of the administrators. The firm had also carried out real estate work for Republic in advance of the administration, but this is not thought to have influenced its appointment on the restructuring.

US firm Locke Lord was the most recent firm to win a role on the case after being appointed by Gordon Brothers, the turnaround specialist advising the administrators of Republic on its strategic revamp in preparation for a sale (27 February 2013).

Sports Direct is an existing client of RPC, with partners such as Paul Joseph advising it on IP matters.