UK: Blacks to enter administration as part of sale plans
The UK's largest outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, Blacks Leisure Group, today (6 January) said it will go into administration as part of plans to sell the business.
The so-called pre-pack arrangement allows potential buyers to cherry-pick the company's best assets, but leave its costly distribution warehouse and head office, as well as shed unwanted shops from its 300-store estate.
Shares in the troubled outdoor goods retailer have been suspended and KPMG lined up as administrators.
The company said it has received several final offers, and expects to announce a sale of all of the trade, assets and brands of the group within the next few days. Bidders are thought to include Dragon's Den TV star Peter Jones, JD Sports and Sports Direct, according to Reuters.
However, Sports Direct, which already owns a 22.5% stake in the chain, announced in a filing to the London Stock Exchange in the middle of December that it does not intend to pursue a bid for the chain.
Blacks Leisure operates 208 Millets and 98 Blacks Outdoor stores and also owns the Peter Storm and Eurohike brands. In line with an earlier filing, the company reiterated that none of the offers attribute a value for the company's shares.
The news follows weeks of speculation over possible buyers for the retailer, and follows recent closures announced by La Senza, Barratts and D2 Jeans.
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