Blacks Leisure is to focus on existing fundraising efforts

Blacks Leisure is to focus on existing fundraising efforts

Blacks Leisure Group says it will now pursue existing fundraising efforts for its ongoing turnaround plan following the collapse of a bid by its Sports Direct rival.

Sports Direct has formally withdrawn its offer following what it claims is a lack of information from the outdoor retailer concerning the future relationship with key suppliers should the bid succeed.

The failure of the takeover follows Sports Direct's approach to the Blacks board on Monday (29 March) this week with a possible increase in its indicative offer from a previous bid of GBP 26.4m (US$40.2m).

That bid from Sports Direct - which already holds a 28.5% stake in Blacks - was flatly rejected.

The issue appears to hinge on Sports Direct's insistence it had not received sufficient supplier information concerning any potential bid, although Blacks denies this.

In a statement Sports Direct noted: "In view of the importance of this matter and in order for Sports Direct to determine the level of any increased offer, Sports Direct requested confirmation of, and the details underlying, any supplier indications to Blacks.

"The Blacks Board has neither provided this information nor denied its existence. 

"Without clarification in relation to this issue, Sports Direct has been unable to finalise its views on the value of any potential offer.

"Accordingly, Sports Direct has determined that it would not be in its shareholders' interests to make an offer for Blacks at this time."

But Blacks is adamant it did not reveal any information about its suppliers, as a spokesman told just-style.

"Obviously there has been a lot of speculation," he said. "Our response is they [Sports Direct] had alleged we had been selectively disclosing information about suppliers' intentions.

"Our response was very clear that we were not doing that."

In a statement yesterday, the Blacks board said the offer had been an "unwelcome distraction" and it would now focus on raising finance to implement its turnaround plan.

"What we are doing is progressing the fundraising - that is our primary focus," said the Blacks spokesman. "We have been working on that for some weeks."

UK Takeover Panel rules now dictate Sports Direct must wait a further six months if it were to make a further offer.

Blacks added as a result of Sports Direct, it was no longer in an Offer Period under the Takeover Code.