JD sells stake in rival JJB

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The Independent Online

JD Sports Fashion today sold its entire 9.9 per cent stake in rival JJB Sports for £16.3m.

The sports retailer started building its stake in JJB toward the end of last year to gain influence over the store group in the event of it collapsing. JD sold 65m shares in JJB at 25p, but as it bought them at an average of 27.5p, it lost about £1.63m on the transaction. Rival sports retailer Sports Direct also sold its shares in JJB earlier this year.

JD Sports and Sports Direct, which posts half-year results tomorrow, have both improved their profits this year, but JJB has endured a turbulent 12 months. In March, JJB came close to collapse, but was saved by a company voluntary arrangement - an insolvency procedure - which enabled it to exit 140 unprofitable stores. JJB, which dismissed its chief executive Chris Ronnie earlier this year, raised £100m in a fund raising in October. JD and JJB declined to comment.