Sports Direct International has today pulled out of its bid to buy outdoor clothing & equipment retail group Blacks Leisure.
The owner of hiking & camping specialists Blacks and Millets revealed on Wednesday that Mike Ashley’s sports business was one of a number of interested parties, but a statement released this morning indicates that this is no longer the case.
Ashley’s company, which yesterday reported strong first-half trading figures, is a major shareholder in Blacks and there is no suggestion that this relationship is set to change, although falling sales and mounting losses are an ongoing concern.
“On December 13th 2011, Sports Direct announced that there could be no certainty that it would make an offer for Blacks Leisure, nor as to the terms on which any such offer might be made,” said today’s statement.
“Further to these announcements and after careful consideration, notwithstanding that Sports Direct remains a committed and supportive shareholder of Blacks Leisure, Sports Direct has decided not to proceed with an offer for Blacks Leisure.”
Other parties rumoured to be interested in purchasing all or part of the business include market rivals Go Outdoors and Mountain Warehouse.
Blacks Leisure is currently undertaking a turnaround strategy after it made a £16 million loss before tax for the first half of its financial year. Like-for-like sales declined 7.2 per cent year-on-year to £81.1 million during this time.