Blacks Leisure is seeking an investor to buy the company or one of its brands

Blacks Leisure is seeking an investor to buy the company or one of its brands

The UK's largest outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, Blacks Leisure Group Plc, today (7 December) said it is hoping to find a buyer for the firm or one of its brands after warning it is unlikely to raise the additional funding needed to carry out its strategic plans.

The group, which has bank debts or around GBP36m (US$56.2m), has already said it must refinance its existing banking facilities before the end of the current financial year on 3 March 2012.

But its directors do not believe it will be able to complete a fundraising "which would provide for the equity requirements of the group."

They're now appealing for investment, either through a sale of the company or one or more of its brands - and have hired KPMG to conduct the sale process. The retailer operates 208 Millets and 98 Blacks Outdoor stores and also owns the Peter Storm and Eurohike brands.

Last month the troubled company warned full-year profits would be below expectations, blaming "challenging trading conditions in a tough economic environment". This warning came after first-half losses more than doubled to GBP16m in the six-months to 27 August as like-for-like sales fell 7.2% to GBP81.1m.