May 21 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 24, 2012
JJB Sports is expected to appoint administrators this week after calling time on its long-running battle to rescue the business.
The move is likely to be accompanied by the sale of certain parts of the business under a pre-pack administration, JJB said.
The company, which has 180 stores and employs around 4,000 people, requested the suspension of its shares today and said it was clear that any offer for the company would not realise any value for shareholders.
JJB said it would continue to trade through all its retail outlets pending completion of the sale and administration process.
Sports Direct, owned by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, is seen as favourite to pick up a large chunk of the business, although the number of stores will depend on the stance of the competition watchdog.
As many as half of JJB’s stores are expected to close in the sale process.
JJB said it expected that KPMG would be appointed as administrators.
It added: “The board has determined that any sale of the trade, assets and brands will be effected through an administration process.
“Therefore it is expected that the process to commence the appointment of administrators of the company and certain of its subsidiaries will begin today although the actual appointments are only likely to take effect just before the completion of any such sale.”
The group has been hit hard by the squeeze on consumer spending triggered by the financial crisis and by the performance of rivals Sports Direct and JD Sports.
iler wBy late 2008 it was in a battle for survival and, despite shareholders with deep pockets, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, numerous fundraisings and closing half of its stores, it has been unable to revive it fortunes.
It recently put itself up for sale and warned that shareholders were likely to be left empty-handed in any deal.
Former Blackburn Rovers footballer and Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan bought a single store in Wigan in 1971 before an aggressive expansion drive made JJB the UK’s biggest sports retaith more than 400 stores. In 1994 the company was floated on the Stock Exchange.