JJB seals £31.5m lifeline as share sale saves it from administration nightmare

 
City A.M. Reporter
SPORTSWEAR retailer JJB Sports has raised £31.5m in a share sale which has bought it time to try to reverse its fortunes.

The firm, in which America’s richest man Bill Gates holds a stake of about 5.5 per cent, said yesterday the cash was raised in a firm placing and an open offer of 630m shares at five pence each.

Of the 315m shares in the open offer, acceptances of just 3.7 per cent were received, with the balance of 96.3 per cent allocated to shareholders which backed JJB’s firm placing, including its two largest investors Harris Associates and Crystal Amber.

The capital raising was backed by JJB’s shareholders last week.

JJB has said it requires a larger capital raising, in addition to the £31.5m, along with creditor and investor support for a second company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in as many years if it is to avoid going into administration. The firm is also in takeover talks with thriving rival JD Sports Fashion.