Blacks to be put up for sale

Blacks Leisure plans to put itself up for sale after the struggling outdoor retailer failed to raise enough funds to carry on the business.

The retailer had issued a profit warning last month in the run-up to Christmas, after the retailer in October said it was evaluating all kinds of funding options.

"The directors do not believe that the group will be able to complete a fundraising which would provide for the equity requirements of the group on the basis of its current capital structure and indebtedness," Blacks Leisure said in a statement.

"As a result, the directors now wish to invite offers to support further investment in the group."

The company, whose net debt stood at about £36m at 5 December, plans to conduct the sale process through its adviser KPMG.

Blacks, which had posted a wider first-half loss of £16m, said it continued to be in talks with its lender, Bank of Scotland, who is supportive of the proposed sale.

The company, which sells walking boots, camping equipment and ski jackets from 306 Blacks Outdoor and Millets stores, came close to collapse in 2009 but survived after a rescue deal with creditors that saw it closing more than 100 stores.