Struggling JJB puts out the 'for sale' sign
Friday 31 August 2012
The next chapter in the tortured history of JJB Sports came yesterday when the beleaguered chain put itself up for sale. This follows several years of crisis that have seen about £200m pumped into the company, mostly from a small number of shareholders who retained faith in the business until very recently.
They include Invesco Perpetual, where star fund manager Neil Woodford built up a 34 per cent stake, the US company Harris Associates with 16 per cent, and the Bill and Melinda Gates charity foundation, which has 5 per cent. The value of those holdings is likely to be wiped out. The US sports retail giant Dick's Sporting Goods put in £20m just months ago, but has already written this off.
JJB has been buffetted by high street strife, fierce competition from its powerful rival Sports Direct, and almost perpetual management reshuffling.
It said yesterday that with trading still deteriorating, further funds were going to be needed sooner rather than later, and that the directors "do not believe that the company will be able to raise the level of funds required".
KPMG has been appointed to handle a sale, although there can be "no assurance that any proposal or offer that may be made would attribute value to the … shares".
Those shares plunged 1.98p to 0.39p following the statement.
Kate Calvert at Seymour Pierce said: "Given the level of debt (£16.5m) already within the business, management has stated that there may not be enough funds to attribute a value to the shares. We reiterate our Sell recommendation and cut our target price to 0p (previously 5p)."
The Wigan-based JJB has 180 stores and employs 4,000 people. It has been involved in a long-running survival battle after a slump in sales and a string of profit warnings.
JJB's history goes back to 1971, when the former Blackburn Rovers footballer Dave Whelan started the business with one store. He floated it on the stock market in 1994, later selling it for a huge fortune.
David McCorquodale, the corporate finance partner at KPMG who is leading the sale process, said: "While it is very early days, I anticipate significant interest in the opportunity to acquire this leading multi-channel authentic sports retailer."
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...
£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...