Sports Direct bid for Blacks imminent?

Sports Direct has confirmed that it is “evaluating” a possible cash offer for Blacks Leisure, though cannot confirm whether a bid will be made for certain.


Halfords has also reportedly been interested in bidding for the outdoor retail chain, though no formal bid has been made.

Sports Direct had earlier snapped up 28.5% of Blacks shares, a move that sparked speculation that a bid would follow.

In light of the Sports Direct takeover interest, Blacks said it would now look to secure an alternative fundraising to support its recovery efforts, which would only require 50% shareholder approval.

Blacks, which operates its own brand shops as well as the Millets chain, was last week forced to adjourn a shareholder ballot on a £20 million fundraising amid tense negotiations with Sports Direct.

It planned to use the funds on up to 35 new stores and the refurbishment of existing sites as part of a revival plan.

Blacks needed 75% shareholder approval for the fundraising to go through, but would have been unable to see it passed without the backing of major investor Sports Direct.

Blacks says it has held “a number of discussions with Sports Direct” since the meeting was postponed. Following news of Sports Direct’s acquisition aims, it says it “intends to pursue an alternative fundraising for the company, but one which will involve only an ordinary resolution being passed – requiring the support of a simple majority of shares being voted on the resolution – in the absence of any concrete takeover proposals from Sports Direct that the board feels that it can recommend”.


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