Finish Line increases stake in running division

The Finish Line Inc. is increasing its stake in a running division in which it shares ownership with Denver-based Gart Capital Partners.

The Indianapolis-based athletics retailer said Friday that Gart will retain an ownership position in the Running Specialty Group and maintain two positions on its board.

Finish Line declined to disclose terms of the agreement or what percentage it now owns of the group.

Gart, a private equity firm, agreed in 2012 to invest $10 million in the chain. Finish Line started the Running Specialty Group the previous year by paying $8.5 million for an 18-store chain primarily on the East Coast and in Texas.

The chain since has grown to 49 locations in 11 states and topped $50 million in revenue in the company’s last fiscal year ended March 1.

“With Gart’s leadership, we have almost tripled the number of stores under the RSG banner,” Finish Line CEO Glenn Lyon said in a prepared statement. “We are at a milestone where, with Finish Line’s increased ownership, we will take our running specialty platform to a new level.”

Finish Line also announced the appointment of Bill Kirkendall as president of the Running Specialty Group. He will assume management of daily operations from Gart. Kirkendall served as a Finish Line director from 2001 until his resignation Thursday.

Finish Line operates 650 mall-based stores and 200 branded shops within Macy’s department stores.

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