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Fashion chain Republic saved by Sports Direct safeguarding 55 regional retail jobs

By WMNCBarnes  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

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The jobs of 55  Westcountry staff have been secured following  Sports Direct International's  rescue buyout of  fashion chain Republic  from administrators.

The Sports World group snapped up 116 shops and stock, along with Republic's head office in Leeds, its websites and brands SoulCal, Fabric and Crafted in a move which has safeguarded 2,100 jobs across the UK.

Republic has two outlets in Devon; at Plymouth's Drake Circus, where it employs 17 staff and in Exeter where it employs 38 people.

The undisclosed deal comes after administrators Ernst & Young closed five Republic shops in Scotland on Tuesday, with the loss of 105 jobs, and axed another 150 jobs at its head office in Leeds.

Republic collapsed into administration on February 13, after being hit by sliding sales.

Administrator Hunter Kelly said: "In what has been a very challenging time and volatile climate for retailers, it is particularly pleasing to have completed the successful sale."

Republic was bought by private equity firm TPG in June 2010 in a deal worth around £300 million, with the founders understood to have retained a significant stake.

Last year, the Sports World group – founded by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley – scooped up 20 shops and all the stock from JJB Sports when its former rival went into administration.

Sports Direct has 12 outlets across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset and almost 400 UK shops. It also owns brands including Slazenger, Dunlop and Lonsdale.

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