The Ratings Game: Sports Direct is likely planning to take over Finish Line, analysts say

Analysts say Finish Line’s poison pill, issued last month, was part of a negotiating tactic for a takeover by Sports Direct

Susquehanna Financial Group analysts led by Sam Poser believe reports that British retailer Sports Direct is in talks to buy Finish Line Inc. are “accurate.”

As evidence, Susquehanna says Sports Direct has been building an interest in Finish Line FINL, +3.86% since the end of March, acquiring about 8% beneficial ownership of the sports retailer in mid-August by being assigned shares related to the expiration of a short put position, or an option to sell.

Susquehanna estimates that Sports Direct also has about a 21% economic interest in Finish Line, acquired through contracts for differences, or CFDs, a type of derivative, with ETX Capital acting as counterparty.

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