- Marka PJSC acquires a majority stake in Icons Shop Limited
- Icons buys assets of A1 Sporting Memorabilia, to create world’s largest football memorabilia company
London – June 15, 2015 – Icons Shop Limited, the UK-based signed memorabilia company today announced that it had sold a majority stake to Marka PJSC (DFM: MARKA), the first public joint stock company focused on the UAE’s retail sector. Marka acquired a sixty-five per cent share for £2.65 million.
Icons have used the investment to create the largest football memorabilia company in the world, through the purchase of the assets of rival A1 Sporting Memorabilia.
Icons, which was established in 1999, retails exclusive and non-exclusive sports merchandise, has a key focus on football.
The company was awarded the world’s first ever signed football memorabilia licence by FIFA in 2010 to produce a range of signed iconic World Cup products. In July 2012, Icons was awarded the first ever official licence for the UEFA Champions League and this year announced a licensing deal for UEFA Euro2016 France. The company holds valuable licensing contracts with the world’s most famous players; including Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale and enjoys long term relationship with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona and Neymar Jr.
Marka will integrate Icons and A1 products into its Modell’s Sporting Goods stores as well as its just opened UEFA Champions League Experience, located in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall in the United Arab Emirates. The concept, developed in partnership with UEFA, is the first of its kind and plans are confirmed for multiple locations across the GCC.
Dan Jamieson, managing director of Icons said, “Icons is the world’s leading football memorabilia brand and the most trusted operation in the game. Authenticity is everything to us, as it is everything to our customers. Our new joint venture with Marka enables us to open up our offerings to the Middle East region and beyond, bringing the millions of dedicated fans there the very best choice and quality of sports memorabilia. With the acquisition of A1 we have unprecedented access to, and a wide portfolio of, past and present icons of the game”
Nick Peel, CEO of Marka and chairman of the joint venture between Marka and Icons, said, “The acquisition of a majority stake in Icons is an important strategic addition to our growing sports retail portfolio. With the addition of A1, the company will be the world’s leading football memorabilia brand and makes Marka a market leader in a highly-profitable segment, with strong international growth potential through the successful online websites Icons.com and A1sportingmemorabilia.co.uk.”
Terry Baker, Founder and CEO of A1 Sporting Memorabilia, commented, “We are delighted to sell the UK’s leading memorabilia website, eBay store, stock and other assets to Icons. They understand the A1 brand and with the existing team, will continue to bring our national and international audience legendary players at legendary prices. We will still be involved as consultants, but will be primarily concentrating on our sporting speaker business.”
Marka confirmed that Mr. Jamieson will remain with Icons as its chief executive officer, Icons’ current chairman, Edward Freedman will remain as a board director. Nick Peel, chief executive officer of Marka and a former retail and licensing director at Arsenal FC, will assume the role of chairman of Icons.
About Icons Shop Limited
Icons has been in business since 1999, the full range is available on www.icons.com
Icons exclusively produce the official Leo Messi Signed Merchandise range and are entering into the 10th year of their relationship with the world’s best player.
Icons hold the licences for the UEFA Champions League, The FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia, the UEFA Europa League and The UEFA European Championships – UEFA Euro2016 France.
Icons Chairman, Edward Freedman, has over 40 years’ experience in the retail industry and in the late 80s was Managing Director of Tottenham Hotspur. He then moved to Manchester United and became Managing Director of Manchester United Merchandising from 1992 onwards. Over the next six years he transformed the commercial side of the club’s operation and built Manchester United into the biggest brand in world football. He was also a key player in the formation of the Premier League and was hailed by The Economist as “football’s merchandising guru”.
Icons are an international brand and supply to well over 90 countries each year and have representatives in North America and regularly supply customers in Japan, China. Australia and the Middle East.
Icons employs the highest standards in the signed football merchandise industry to assure customers of the authenticity of its products. At each event, photographs document each signature and Icons creates a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for each item including the date and venue and a picture of the product and the signing image. Each product carries a uniquely coded Icons hologram whose identical twin is added to the COA which is signed by the Icons Managing Director.
Icons products are sold in Harrods in the UK, Futbolmania in Spain, UEFA Champions League Experience Abu Dhabi and Modell’s Sporting Goods stores in Dubai.
About Marka PJSC
Marka PJSC (DFM: MARKA) is the first public joint stock company focused on the growing retail sector in the UAE. Incorporated with a capital of AED 500 million and headquartered in Dubai, Marka is a premier retail operator targeting the mid-to-high-range and luxury segments. Since incorporation in 2014, Marka has partnered with leading global brands in the retail and hospitality sectors, pursuing a growth strategy focused on acquisitions, franchise agreements and unique retail concepts.
Marka is committed to offering value to its customers through high quality products and services at optimum cost, simultaneously generating value for its shareholders and giving back to the communities in which it operates.
For further information about Marka and to learn more about its brands, visit www.markaholding.com