KPMG Sells Blacks to JD Sports Via ‘pre-pack’ Administration

Michelle Remo, “Big 4″ observer
January 10, 2012 /

Brian Green, Richard Fleming and David Costley-Wood of KPMG were appointed joint administrators to Blacks Leisure Group. On appointment, the administrators sold the business to JD Sports.

JD Sports has acquired substantially all of the assets, including all 302 stores operating under the Blacks and Millets brands and the 3,500 staff who work there. No redundancies have been made by the joint administrators.

Richard Fleming, joint administrator and UK Head of Restructuring at KPMG, said: “Today’s sale allows the continued trading of all the shops. A sale via ‘pre-pack’ administration was required to rescue as much of the business as possible.

“Blacks has struggled, in tough economic conditions, to generate enough cash to service its high overhead costs. However, Blacks has a strong brand and accordingly generated a huge amount of buyer interest from some of the best known entrepreneurs and competitors in the market. Today’s announcement draws a line in the sand and allows the business to put its best foot forward.”

David McCorquodale, corporate finance partner at KPMG, who led the sales process, added: “We were appointed to sell the business on 7th December and are really pleased to have concluded a sale within a month and over the Christmas period.

“We spoke to around 50 interested parties initially, with 10 submitting first round bids in December and 4 placing offers at the second and final bidding stage on Friday. The level of buyer interest in such a difficult economic environment – particularly for the retail community – is a testament to the strength of the Blacks brand as well as to the new management team who have driven significant changes in the business in a very short time.”

 

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