JD Sports ditches JJB talks

Shares in struggling retailer JJB Sports plummeted more than six per cent today as JD Sports Fashion backed out of rescue plans.

JD, which announced on 2 February that it was in early stage takeover talks with JJB said in a statement it has “no intention” of making an offer.

JD complained its rival had not co-operated fully in early talks and when it put forward proposals at the beginning of February it received “no further information whatsoever” from JJB Sports.

“Following a detailed assessment of the opportunity from the further public information made available ... JD Sports Fashion now confirms that it has decided that it does not intend to make an offer for JJB Sports,” it said.

In response, JJB said it would go back to delivering its standalone restructuring plan, adding that it believed JD Sports’ proposal to be “highly conditional” and “lacking sufficient certainty to be deliverable.”

Chairman Mike McTighe said: “JJB's restructuring continues as planned with the whole management team focused on and committed to delivering a stable standalone future for JJB and its employees.”

JJB, which counts Bill Gates as an investor, has been in financial difficulty for months.

Talks with JD sent company shares soaring 17 per cent.

JJB will provide further details of its revised business plan, with funding requirements and proposed financing arrangements, on or around 15 March 2011, it said.