Sports Direct prepare Blacks takeover
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Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has re-emerged as a potential rescue bidder for troubled camping products retailer Blacks.

The Newcastle United owner planted his flag in the ground after Blacks, which sells walking boots, camping equipment and ski jackets from 306 Blacks Outdoor and Millets stores, hoisted the ‘for sale’ sign last week after admitting it had failed to secure vital new funds.

The chain, which has seen its shares tank 90 per cent over the year, is one of a raft of troubled retailers fighting for survival in the run up to the crucial Christmas trading period.

It said in a statement: ‘The board confirms that it has received an expression of interest from Sports Direct, amongst a number of others, which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company.’

Blacks, in which Ashley is the biggest shareholder with a 21.3 per cent stake, has been dogged with problems for years, facing fierce competition from cheaper online rivals and the supermarkets.

The firm (unchanged at 2.13p) came close to administration in 2009 before striking a rescue deal with creditors that saw it close 100 stores.

Ashley has previously made offers for the firm which have come to nothing.

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