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JJB Sports gets unlikely share boost from Gates

In a bizarre turn-around, beleaguered retailer JJB Sports yesterday revealed that billionaire Bill Gates had taken a stake in the embattled company.<br /><br />The Microsoft tycoon made the acquisition through the Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic organisation created to &ldquo;help all people lead healthy, productive lives&rdquo;. On Tuesday, the foundation, which is also backed by mogul Warren Buffett, increased its stake from 2.82 per cent to 3.14 per cent.<br /><br />The stake acquisition was seen by investors as a sign of faith in the company which is in the middle of a dramatic turnaround and a financial restructuring plan under Sir David Jones. The group&rsquo;s shares rallied closing up 12 per cent at 28p.<br /><br />Gates is not a stranger to ailing retail companies. Last year he spent &pound;15m for a 5 per cent stake in Carpetright through his private equity vehicle Cascade Investment.