(Reuters) -JD Sports Fashion has proposed buying France’s Groupe Courir for an enterprise value of 520 million euros ($572 million), in what would be the British group’s first acquisition since setting out ambitious expansion plans in February.

JD currently trades from over 3,400 stores across 32 territories, including Britain, France, Germany, the United States and Australia.

Courir, which has 313 stores across six countries in Europe, including France, Spain and Belgium, is currently majority owned by Equistone Partners Europe which acquired it in 2018.

JD Sports said on Tuesday that in accordance with French law Courir’s management will start a consultation process with its employee representative bodies before a binding sale and purchase agreement can be reached.

Given the deal also requires the approval of the European Commission, JD said it was not expected to complete before the second half of 2023.

It said it would pay 325 million euros for Courir, funded through existing cash resources, and take on debt of 195 million euros.

In 2022, Courir made a profit of 47.4 million euros on revenue of 609.8 million euros.

In February, JD said it would spend up to 3 billion pounds to open as many as 1,750 stores over five years, as CEO Régis Schultz outlined his plans for the retailer to become an athletic leisurewear “powerhouse”.

The group also said on Tuesday it had completed the purchase of the remaining 20% of JD Sports Fashion Germany.

It is also in talks with the minority shareholders of Iberian Sports Retail Group over its future ownership.

Courir has an outlet in Monaco in the Commercial Centre of Fontvieille, three in Nice and one in Antibes.

FILE PHOTO: People pass a JD Sports store in London, Britain April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall