Bidders circle JJB Sports as sale kicks off

 
Marion Dakers
THE SALE of JJB Sports has already attracted a string of potential bidders, giving the firm a chance to stave off administration.

Better Capital, led by Jon Moulton, and retail investment specialist OpCapita are thought to be among the firms circling JJB as the sale process gets underway.

The sportswear retailer put itself on the block last Thursday, having failed to secure much-needed funds from its backers including US-based Dick’s Sporting Goods.

JJB warned that its debt levels mean it could change hands for a pittance, wiping out shareholders.

Analysts expect the firm to be put into administration before parts of the business are bought at a rock-bottom price.

The firm has debts of around £36m, giving it a debt to equity ratio of 0.51.

It had a market cap of £3m on Friday – down from £500m two years ago.

JJB, which issued a profit warning in July, said sales in the six weeks to 26 August slipped 3.3 per cent, dashing hopes of an organic turnaround aided by a summer of sporting events.

KPMG, which is managing the sale process, declined to comment, while JJB and Better could not be reached for comment yesterday.