JJB Sports mulls raft of ideas to save firm

Michael Bow
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BOARD members at crisis-struck sports retailer JJB Sports are mulling dozens of different financing options to save the battered firm from further losses, it was revealed yesterday.

The Wigan-based company, which jettisoned its chief executive Keith Jones and parachuted in former La Senza boss Beverley Williams last month, is exploring “20 to 30” ideas to shore up its finances following a crunch board meeting last week.

A person close to the firm yesterday downplayed reports its biggest shareholder, Invesco Asset Management, was set to buy the company’s outstanding debt from its creditor Lloyds Banking Group.

A company voluntary arrangement deal has also been ruled out, but “20 to 30 other things are on the table”, the person said, as investors seek to turn the stricken firm around.

JJB has been battered by poor trading in recent months, issuing a statement following its annual meeting on 19 July stating it would “accelerate” the acquisition of additional funding to shore up the firm’s finances.

This came after it reported like for like sales for 24 weeks ending 15 July had slumped 8.7 per cent.

A spokesman for the firm said: “The company is looking at a number of options to strengthen its financial position.”

Invesco Asset Management currently owns 47.3 per cent of JJB’s shares. Dick’s Sporting Goods, which owns 3.1 per cent, injected £20m into the firm in April.

Invesco was unavailable for comment last night.