JJB confirms financing talks

Sportswear retailer JJB Sports , which nearly collapsed last year, said it was in talks with its bank and an unnamed "potential strategic partner" to raise financing.

The company, which counts the richest man in the US, Bill Gates, among its major shareholders, issued the statement in response to a sharp rise in its share price and rumours that bid talks were ongoing.

A source said the talks related to a potential investment.

"Constructive discussions continue with the company's lending bank and one of the potential strategic partners and have been widened to include other key stakeholders," JJB said in the statement.

A restructuring agreement with its landlords prevented it falling into administration a year ago. Recent trading updates have been more positive as JJB has worked to turn around the business ahead of a busy summer of sport.

JJB declined to comment further on the statement or on the identity of the strategic partners.