UK: Court to rule on Sports Direct stakes in retailers
A row between Sports Direct and a collapsed bank's administrators over the ownership of stakes in two retailers is set to end up in court.
UK retailer Sports Direct had thought that it owned a 28.5% slice of beleaguered outdoor chain Blacks, plus an 11.9% stake in rival JD Sports.
However, both companies say the stakes really belong to the administrators of Kaupthing, Singer & Friedlander (KSF), the UK arm of collapsed Icelandic bank Kaupthing.
KSF's administrators, Ernst & Young, believe that the stakes belong to them because KSF helped to finance their acquisition - but this is contested by Sports Direct.
Now Ernst & Young has said it will go to court to seek a legal ruling to resolve the issue.
Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley was reported to have tried to buy struggling Blacks earlier this year, and has clashed with management in the past over their running of the business.
Blacks announced plans in September to close 89 loss-making stores and cut 20% of head office staff, part of an ongoing restructuring plan agreed with its lender, Lloyds Banking Group.
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