JJB's fashion chains to go into administration

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The struggling sportswear retailer JJB is to put its two loss-making fashion chains into administration, putting more than 800 jobs at risk, as the group faces a critical deadline to safeguard its future tomorrow.

JJB said it had filed a notice of intention to appoint KPMG as administrator for its 64-store fashion chain Original Shoe Company and 13-store Qubefootwear business.

The ailing retailer has until Thursday night to secure alternative financing under a two-month standstill agreement on its near-£60m of debt withits three banks, Kaupthing, Barclays and HBOS, which it unveiled in December 2008.

If JJB is unable to secure a financial restructuring or an extension of the standstill agreement, it may be forced to appoint an administrator for its retail chain and fitness clubs.

Yesterday, JJB said it had received a number of non-binding bids for its fitness club division. Mike Ashley, the founder of rival Sports Direct, is thought to be one suitor.