Blacks Leisure on the brink
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BLACKS Leisure is on the edge of administration or forced sale leaving the shares worthless, the ailing outdoor goods retailer admitted yesterday in a deflating Christmas blow for investors.

After the stock exchange announcement, the already bombed-out shares in the company collapsed by a further 57 per cent, or 1p, to close at just 0.75p.

Blacks – which sells products such as walking boots, ski jackets and camping equipment in its eponymous shops and in the Millets chain – said it had received several indicative offers to buy the whole or substantially all of its trade, assets and brands.

The company added: “Blacks continues to hold discussions with a number of selected parties with a view to concluding the sale process in January 2012.

“Based on the level of indicative offers received, it is most unlikely that any value will be attributable to the ordinary shares.”

Blacks put itself up for sale on 7 December after a string of profit warnings in a desperate attempt to ward off administration and get some payback for shareholders.

Edinburgh Woollen Mills was seen as one of the frontrunners to possibly take it over, while Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's Sports Direct recently ruled out any takeover attempt.

One retailing analyst said: “It looks to be all over for Blacks as an independent business. Buyers were obviously not prepared to pay any premium for control and that obviously leaves shareholders up the creek. It is the exact opposite of a Christmas present.”


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