Several bidders line up for JJB Sports in race to buy the chain

City A.M. Reporter
DEBT-LADEN JJB Sports said last night that it was in talks with several parties who have offered to buy it but ordinary shareholders were unlikely to see any value from a deal.

The sporting goods retailer’s shares more than doubled to 0.79p but closed up 30 per cent at 0.45p on the London Stock Exchange yesterday.

They have fallen 85 per cent since it put itself up for sale on 30 August.

JJB Sports has been rocked by funding issues, falling sales and stiff competition as UK store chains battle weak consumer spending, muted wage growth and government austerity measures.

A string of household retail names including Woolworths and MFI have gone out of business in recent years, undermined by price-cutting from supermarkets and rising online sales.

JJB Sports was founded in 1971 by ex-Blackburn Rovers footballer Dave Whelan with a single store in Wigan, where the company is still headquartered.

It floated in 1994, and four years later acquired the business of Sports Division, making it Britain’s biggest sports retailer at the time.