Blog: JJB offer hopes dashed

Joe Ayling | 14 March 2011

There were mixed fortunes for the UK's big three sporting goods retailers last week.

News emerged on Friday (14 March) that JD Sports Fashion would not be pursuing an offer for rival JJB Sports.

Meanwhile, the market's other key player, Sports Direct International, secured GBP220m (US$357m) in refinancing.

JD, which has been bucking the high street trend with positive sales, first announced "initial discussions" with JJB last month.

Wigan-based JJB has been worse-hit by the economic downturn, recently proposing a second company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in as many years.

Following last week's snub, JJB chairman Mike McTighe said he was still confident of a successful turnaround for the business.

Nevertheless, a merger between JD and JJB would have left Sports Direct a little twitchy about the opposition.

As it happened, Sports Direct was also able to announce that none of its employees were under investigation after it bought 31 stores from rival JJB in 2009.

Therefore, in sporting terms last week seemed to represent a victory for Sports Direct, a draw for JD, but a defeat for JJB, although McTighe saw it differently.

He added: "We welcome today's clarification from JD Sports. JJB's restructuring continues as planned with the whole management team focused on and committed to delivering a stable standalone future for JJB and its employees."

UK: JD drops interest in JJB


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