Republic fashion chain bought by Sports Direct

Republic store
Image caption Republic sells both male and female clothing

The Republic fashion chain has been bought by Sports Direct for an undisclosed sum.

Administrators for Republic said the sale would "safeguard over 2,100 jobs" and secure a future for the Republic brand.

The announcement comes two weeks after Leeds-based Republic went into administration following weak sales.

Sports Direct has purchased 116 Republic stores, the brand name and its head office.

It has also bought all Republic's stock, and sub-brands SoulCal, Fabric and Crafted.

Hunter Kelly, joint administrator from accountancy group Ernst & Young, said: "The brand Republic is well recognised and well respected by customers for offering quality, high-fashion goods and it is a testament to its strength that Sports Direct has made this investment to secure its future and High Street presence.

"We are extremely grateful for the support and loyalty showed by all employees and customers during what has been an uncertain time, and would like to thank everyone at Republic for their commitment and hard work during the administration process."

Republic was launched in 1986, originally under the Best Jeans name.

It had 121 stores and 2,500 staff in total when it went into administration.

Republic was owned by private equity firm TPG, which bought the company in 2010 in a deal thought to be worth about £300m.

Analysts have criticised Republic's fast-paced expansion over recent years, saying that TPG should have instead concentrated on boosting its profitability.

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