Shares in retailer Blacks Leisure Group soared by 25% today (19 October) after the company confirmed that it was in talks over a possible sale of the business.

Following intense media speculation, Blacks released a statement to the London Stock Exchange confirming that it was in “preliminary discussions with several parties”. It added that the talks centred on “either a possible offer for the company or an offer to acquire certain of the company’s trading activities and related assets”, but said there was no certainty of any formal offer being made.

Blacks only narrowly avoided going into administration in 2009 before drawing up a rescue package which led to the closure of over 100 stores, but allowed it to continue trading.

Earlier this year it secured extra funding of GBP19.7m (US$31m) despite the opposition of rival retailer Sports Direct, which had accumulated a 29% stake in the business and had pondered an acquisition bid.