Update: Blacks sold to JD Sports
Outdoor retail clothing firm Blacks Leisure confirmed on Monday that it had gone into a pre-pack administration and been sold to JD Sports for £20m.
As expected, the outdoor clothing retailer confirmed KPMG as administrator of the deal and that there will therefore be no value attributable to the company's ordinary shares.
Last month, the firms’ directors announced they would put the business up for sale after failing to secure extra funding to turn the business around.
The outdoor clothing retailer, which owns 98 Blacks outlets and 208 Millets stores and employs 3,600 staff, said it planned to appoint KPMG as administrator to organise a pre-packaged administration after a number of offers were received for the group.
Dragons' Den judge Peter Jones was thought to be one of those submitting offers to the group but said on Twitter: “To quell all rumours I'm not buying Blacks Leisure.”
Blacks bought the Outdoor Group, which included Millets and Free Spirit, for £51m in November 1999 but has suffered financial difficulties throughout its 25-year history. In 2009 it arranged a company voluntary agreement (CVA) with creditors, and fought off a £26m takeover bid from Sports Direct, whose owner Mike Ashley holds a 22.5% stake in the company.
Despite the popularity of so-called ‘staycation’ camping holidays in the UK following the 2008 credit crunch, Blacks failed to capitalise. Nor did the growing market for tents and wellies at some of the UK’s biggest festivals help them survive financially.