Blacks runs more than 200 Millets stores across the country

Blacks runs more than 200 Millets stores across the country

High Street outdoors retailer Blacks Leisure’ future looks bleak after it announced today its shares had effectively become worthless.

Their value plummeted to a little over a penny each this morning after the group announced it did not expect to receive an offer for the equity of the company.

It said it had received offers from various bidders for the assets and brands of the group, which include the Blacks and Millets stores and the Peter Storm and Eurohike names.

However, it looks increasingly like the company, which is saddled with £36m-worth of debts, will go into administration, with an eventual buyer snapping up its assets in a controversial pre-pack deal.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct International, which as biggest shareholder will see its substantial investment wiped out, withdrew from bidding for the company, but remains a contender for picking up the assets of the group if it goes into administration. Edinburgh Woollen Mill and burgeoning gear retailer GO Outdoors have also been touted as strong contenders in any sale of the shops, stock and other assets of the group.

A statement from Blacks said: “A number of parties have submitted indicative offers to acquire the whole or substantially all of the trade, assets and brands of the group.

“However, the board notes that it does not have and does not now expect to receive an offer for the shares of Blacks Leisure. Accordingly the Takeover Panel has confirmed that the company is now out of an offer period.

“Blacks Leisure 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.

“The group continues to be in constructive discussions with its lender, Bank of Scotland, which is supportive of the ongoing sale process.”

The company has 3,500 employees in 208 Millets stores and 98 Blacks shops, and at its Northampton headquarters.

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