JJB Sports to ask for £50m

Marion Dakers
TROUBLED retailer JJB Sports is expected to try and raise a further £50m from shareholders, according to reports over the weekend.

The company has already tapped investors for £31.5m and asked its lender Bank of Scotland to waive imminent covenant tests on a £25m loan.

Shareholders including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Invesco Perpetual and GoldenPeaks Capital supported the cash injection, which involved placing ordinary shares at 5p each on Christmas Eve.

JJB has agreed in principle to offer non-executive board roles to some of its investors as part of the fund-raising.

A spokesperson for JJB Sports declined to comment yesterday, saying the company had nothing to add beyond its statement on 23 December.

Chief executive Keith Jones said at the time that “despite the generally challenging trading conditions, we are encouraged by the performance of our six transformed stores”.

The firm said stocking problems and the icy weather had dampened sales in the run-up to Christmas, but that it hoped to continue revamping its 240-odd stores.

JJB replaced its chairman John Clare in December with Mike McTighe, former global chief of operations at Cable & Wireless with experience in corporate restructuring.

The new management team will begin a review of the company this week to overhaul its strategy. The firm is expected to post a trading update later this month.

FTSE-listed JJB Sports shares lost 81 per cent of their value over the course of 2010 and closed at 5p on 31 December.