Global Franchise Group, LLC said it reached an agreement to sell The Athletes Foot (TAF) to Intersport International Corp. (IIC). TAF currently has 430 franchisee-owned stores in 27 countries, including the U.S., Mexico, Peru, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.

Intersport, headquartered in Berne, Switzerland with a current presence in 41 countries, is the largest sporting goods retailer in the world. Intersport has turnover of over €10 billion and  over 5,400
affiliated sporting goods stores in 42 countries. Upon the completion of this acquisition, Intersport will expand its global footprint to 63 countries and create opportunities for its current licensees to open TAF franchise stores.

“We have made the strategic decision to focus on our  core quick service restaurant industry franchise business,” said Chris Dull, president and CEO, Global Franchise Group, LLC, “Intersport presents an attractive opportunity to build the TAF brand through sports retailing expertise, purchasing volume and international market positioning  in a way that should benefit the TAF franchisees.”

“Geographically, TAF is an ideal complement to Intersport, immediately providing the company presence in 63 countries, instead of the current 41. While we were in a strong global position, especially in Europe, the acquisition allows us to move into the lucrative markets of the USA, Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand, take advantage of the potential of the emerging countries in South America, and strengthen our existing position in Asia and the Middle East. In current Intersport markets, Intersport licensees will open TAF stores,” says Franz Julen, CEO of IIC-Intersport International Corporation.

IIC intends to finance the acquisition with its own funds, and the purchase price is not disclosed.  The parties intend to consummate the transaction by the end of November 2012.  Consummation of the transaction remains subject to the negotiation and execution of definitive transaction documentation.

TAF®, previously known as The Athlete's Foot®, was the world's first franchisor of athletic footwear stores. The concept, founded in 1971 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, began domestic franchising in 1972 and opened its first international store in Adelaide, Australia in 1978. Today, TAF is recognized as the world leader in athletic footwear franchising operating in 27 countries. With a mission of meeting the needs of the everyday athlete, the brand, under Global Franchise Group's ownership, launched a global re-branding effort, including a modernized company logo, a new merchandising system, new in-store design and brand positioning.