UK outdoor retailer Blacks Leisure Group has today (23 November) secured creditor approval of a CVA proposal vital to its restructuring efforts.

The CVAs (Company Voluntary Arrangements) for Blacks and subsidiary The Outdoor Group offer landlords of hundreds of stores a compromise payment from a new GBP7.25m (US$11.8m) fund.

If the CVA Proposal is not subject to a challenge it will become effective on or around 23 December 2009, a statement said.

Neil Gillis, Blacks chief executive, said: "We are delighted with the overwhelming support the CVA proposals have received today, being passed almost unanimously with votes in excess of 97% in both cases.

"This outcome is a powerful endorsement by the creditors of the company that the CVA is in the best interests of all concerned. The process addresses a long-standing issue at the heart of the group's difficulties in recent years - its tail of unprofitable stores - creating a significantly stronger business and, crucially, preserving over 4,000 jobs.

"With this support secured, we can now focus on realising the potential of the group's market leadership position in outdoor retail once again."

The CVAs will aim to settle claims from the landlords of 101 stores which are closed or in the process of closing, plus another nine which had guarantees from the company, struggling Blacks announced earlier in the month.

They will also seek to vary the terms of a further 291 retail leases, allowing monthly rather than quarterly rent payments for the next 18 months.

In April, fellow UK retailer JJB Sports was also saved from a possible collapse by a vote in favour of CVA proposals.