Outdoor fashion & equipment retailer Blacks Leisure has today confirmed that Sports Direct International is one of the companies interested in buying all or part of the business.
The group, which also owns Millets, decided to put itself up for sale – again – last week after it failed to secure adequate funds to finance a restructuring.
Interest from Sports Direct, which is a major shareholder in the company, comes after the sports retailer’s owner Mike Ashley voted against re-electing Chairman David Bernstein earlier this year.
Bernstein was supported by 78 per cent of shareholders, but he decided that he needed to be fully backed if he was to revive the struggling company.
Today’s statement, which may give some indication as to why Ashley acted as he did, read: “As previously announced, the board of Blacks Leisure Group has invited offers to support further investment in the group, which is most likely to involve a sale of the company or sale of one or more of the group’s brands.
“The board notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it has received an expression of interest from Sports Direct International plc, amongst a number of others, which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company.”
Other businesses rumoured to be interested in a takeover include rival outdoor clothing & equipment specialist Go Outdoors, which has recently secured private investment and has ambitious growth plans for the next five years.
In contrast, the future remains extremely unclear for Blacks and Millets.