Stricken retailer Blacks Leisure confirmed today it will go into administration but said it still hopes most of the business will be salvaged by buyers. Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's Sports Direct is believed to be a likely bidder.
The company, which runs 98 Blacks outlets and 208 Millets stores and employs some 3,600 staff, admitted it has failed to find an outright buyer after putting itself up for sale following dire trading.
But it has received offers for the trade, assets and brands of the group and expects to announce the appointment of administrators in coming days to allow the sale as part of a pre-pack deal.
It also said its shares will be suspended from today because the deal will attribute no value to its stock.
Ashley’s Sports Direct, Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones and sportswear firm JD Sports are among the likely bidders.