JJB in £30m fundraising plan

JJB has has announced plans to raise £31.5m from shareholders, after issuing a warning it could breach the terms of a banking agreement.

The struggling sports retailer said it was raising funds from major shareholders including Crystal Amber and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust.

It added that its lender, Bank of Scotland, had agreed to ditch financial tests that had been due in January.

Sales in the six weeks to 19 December were down 15.7 per cent on last year, JJB said.

Bad weather conditions had continued into the pre-Christmas period and had "significantly affected" sales, the company said.

JJB also announced that chairman John Clare would step down with immediate effect.

He will be replaced by Mike McTighe, a former Cable & Wireless executive.

On 2 December, the retailer, which struggled during the downturn, warned it was likely to breach "certain financial covenants" in a £25m loan facility provided by its bank after worse-than-expected sales in recent weeks.