Blacks Leisure is expected to have its Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) approved by landlords today, which would secure the future of the outdoor retailer.
Both financial services firm KPMG, which is handling the restructure and the British Property Foundation (BPF), are confident that at least 75% of creditors will vote in favour of the CVA proposal. 75% approval is the minimum threshold needed to pass it through.
A vote in favour would save 290 stores and 4,000 jobs, and would mean that Blacks would get the continued support of its lender the Lloyds Banking Group, as part of a wider restructuring programme.
BPF, chief executive, Liz Peace said: “I think in the end the CVA will be considered the lesser of two evils.”
She added: “With the average existing retail lease lasting over 12 years, Blacks would walk away from many hundreds of years’ worth of rent if the CVA is passed. This hit will be taken solely by the landlords - many of whom are owned by the public and its pension funds.”
If the Blacks CVA is passed the retailer will pay six months rent on the closed stores and be liable for rates until the units are re-let or until leases expire.
A vote in favour of a CVA proposal secured the future of JJB Sports earlier this year, while designer independent Flannels issued a CVA proposal two weeks ago.