JJB Sports shares suspended as administration looms

  • 24 September 2012
  • From the section Business

Trading of shares in JJB Sports has been suspended as the struggling sports clothes and equipment retailer prepares to call in the administrators.

The firm said it would continue to trade through all of its outlets while it readies a widely anticipated pre-pack administration.

The process will wipe out the value of JJB's existing shares and enable it to write off much of its debts.

The fate of its 180 stores and 4,000 employees has yet to become clear.

KPMG are expected to be appointed to handle the formal administration process once terms of the business' sale have been agreed with a potential buyer.

Until then, JJB said all of its outlets would remain open for business as usual.

JJB Sports announced at the end of August that it was seeking a buyer to rescue the firm.

Although the Wigan-based retailer received a number of offers, none of its suitors was interested in buying the company as a whole, but instead made offers for parts of its business, assets and brands.

The failure of the sale process was widely anticipated, and JJB's shares have been valued at less than a penny each since the decision to seek a suitor was first announced.

In the summer of 2007, its shares were trading at just under £25 each.

A likely buyer for much of the remaining business is JJB's far more successful rival Sports Direct, although further expansion by the competitor firm may need approval from the competition authorities.

By effecting the sale through a "pre-pack" - or fully pre-arranged - administration, JJB will be able to write off any of its debts that the buyer is unwilling to assume, and that cannot be repaid from the sale proceeds.

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