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.
The Microsoft tycoon made the acquisition through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic organisation created to “help all people lead healthy, productive lives”. 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.
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’s shares rallied closing up 12 per cent at 28p.
Gates is not a stranger to ailing retail companies. Last year he spent £15m for a 5 per cent stake in Carpetright through his private equity vehicle Cascade Investment.