Gulf Marketing Group acquires Royal Sporting House amid disruption to global retail industry

The deal comprises the acquisition of RSH's sports retail business in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong together with operations in the UAE, Egypt and Qatar


Dubai, UAE – Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has advised Gulf Marketing Group (GMG), a leading family-owned retail company in the Middle East, on the acquisition of Royal Sporting House's (RSH) sports retail business, from Dubai based conglomerate Al Futtaim Group. With the acquisition, GMG is set to overcome the challenges arising from the market slowdown in the global retail industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deal comprises the acquisition of RSH's sports retail business in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong together with operations in the UAE, Egypt and Qatar. RSH is one of Singapore’s leading multi-brand sports retailers with a portfolio comprising Adidas, Nike, Reebok, Under Armour, Speedo and Saucony, amongst other international sports brands.

Following the acquisition, GMG will operate over 550 sports retail stores and 10 warehouses across 12 countries, and employ nearly 8,000 people. GMG’s sports portfolio includes Middle East brands such as Sun and Sands Sports, as well global brands including Nike, Columbia, Timberlands and Vans.

The Baker McKenzie team was led by Dubai based Corporate and M&A partner Pietro de Libero and by senior associates Marcos Spanos and Stephanie Samuell and supported by associates Farah El Masri, Haya Massoud and Hazem Hebaishi, working in conjunction with our offices in Cairo, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

“We are pleased to have been able to support Gulf Marketing Group on their strategic acquisition of Royal Sporting House, which strengthens their leading position in sports retail in the Middle East,” said Pietro de Libero. “The integration of their retail operations will create significant synergies for both GMG and RSH, allowing the expansion of the Sun and Sands Sports brand in key Asian markets and the revival of the Stadium brand in the Middle East.”

“It is promising to see the resilience of GMG’s growth strategy and commitment to the global retail industry as the global economy enters a period of recovery and renewal,” added Borys Dackiw, Senior Corporate and Compliance partner and Client Relationship Lead. “GMG has taken a strategic step to go ‘global’ and provide its unique customer experience to an expanded client base of more than 700 consumers globally a good example of how a strong and sustainable business model can weather the economic storm and remain competitive in the new market environment.”

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