Jan 9, 2012
JD Sports closing in on Blacks Leisure deal
Jan 9, 2012
LONDON - British retailer JD Sports Fashion said on Monday it is in advanced talks over the possible acquisition of assets from outdoor goods retailer Blacks Leisure.
JD Sports store front
A source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Friday that JD Sports had outbid Sports Direct, Blacks' largest shareholder with a 22.5 percent stake, entrepreneur and Dragons' Den TV star Peter Jones and an unnamed fourth industry suitor.
Loss-making Blacks, which is saddled with 36 million pounds ($55 million) debt, on Friday suspended its shares from trading on the London Stock Exchange, saying the process to appoint administrators would begin shortly, with KPMG being lined up for the role.
A deal would likely safeguard the majority of jobs at the 306 Blacks Outdoor and Millets stores, although unprofitable outlets could be jettisoned and jobs at the company's distribution warehouse and Northampton headquarters, about 10 percent of the 3,500 total would be under threat.
($1 = 0.6490 British pounds) (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; editing by James Davey)
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