Black’s Leisure looks for new bidders or faces winding-up

Kasmira Jefford
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K’S LEISURE faces falling into administrators’ hands and being broken up if the struggling outdoor chain fails to find a buyer this week, putting 2,000 jobs at risk.

Black’s competitors Go Outdoors and Mountain Warehouse have both emerged as likely bidders for the company after Sports Direct’s billionaire founder Mike Ashley ruled out a bid for the whole firm, sending shares plummeting on Friday.

People close to the situation said KPMG, the accountancy firm running the sales process, hopes to receive an offer for the company, which includes the Millets brand, by the Thursday deadline.

But other sources believe the company is more likely to fall into administration followed by a company voluntary agreement (CVA) where an agreement is reached with creditors to keep the company afloat.

Most interested parties are unlikely to want all of 300 Black’s stores, preferring to leave a third, including 2,000 staff, in danger of closing.

High street retailers have been fighting for survival, with Barratt’s collapsing last month followed by lingerie firm La Senza, which called in KPMG last week to hold crunch talks.