Blacks shops close under CVA

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The Independent Online

Blacks, the troubled retailer, is expected to win a "grudging" approval from its landlords this week for its plans to undergo a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The outdoor clothes chain will, it is believed, get the votes of more than the requisite 75 per cent of landlords, which will result in the closure of 89 stores. Under the terms of the agreement, Blacks will pay landlords six months-worth of rent following the closures. It is thought that many of the leases had as long as 10 years to run.

FTSE-100 property companies Land Securities and Hammerson are among those understood to be backing the CVA. Others voting on the proposal include Hermes and Prupim, the property arm of the insurer Prudential.

An industry source said that big name landlords were "rudgingly voting for the deal". A source close to Blacks added: "It's a no-brainer. The landlords can huff and puff as much as they like, but they don't want another Woolworths on their hands just before Christmas."