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Blacks Leisure put up for sale

Blacks Leisure, the camping and outdoor clothing retailer, put itself up for sale today after it failed to secure fresh investment to keep the business going.

CITY & CORPORATE

Blacks Leisure put up for sale

The company said in a statement today: "The directors do not believe that the group will be able to complete a fundraising which would provide for the equity requirements of the group on the basis of its current capital structure and indebtedness. 

"As a result, the directors now wish to invite offers to support further investment in the group."

Blacks, which made a £16 million loss in the first half of the year, had recently warned that its full year performance would be worse than expected. Today the retailer said its net bank debt was currently £36 million and therefore the sale was unlikely to offer value to shareholders.

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct, which owns 21% of the firm, is reported to have suggested sharing its existing warehousing, supply chain and IT capability with Blacks in exchange for a fee. But today’s announcement suggests any such offer has been turned down.

The company, whose brands include Peter Storm and Millets, came close to collapse in 2009 but survived after a rescue deal was agreed with creditors resulting in the closure of over 100 stores.

Blacks said it hoped to have found a buyer for the business by the end of January.
 

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