JD Sports Fashion is eyeing a potential bid for rival JJB Sports, according to The Sunday Times newspaper.
JD Sports Fashion chairman Peter Cowgill declined to comment, but said that he would consider “all opportunities”. JD Sports Fashion already holds a 10% stake in JJB Sports, which is acquired last November.
The sportswear company is majority owned by Pentland Group, which also owns brands like Lacoste and Berghaus through its Pentland Brands subsidiary.
It is understood that JJB Sports chairman Sir David Jones would welcome a bid from JD Sports Fashion, as JJB Sports has struggled to secure stock from suppliers following last month’s restructuring of the company.
JJB Sports offloaded the leases to 140 stores and agreed to pay monthly rather than quarterly rents on a further 250 as part of a Company Voluntary Agreement, agreement last month.
However, any takeover would need to secure the backing of Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, who has a stake of around 20% in JJB Sports via directly held shares and shares held via contracts for difference. However, The Sunday Times said that Ashley was likely to oppose any deal on the grounds of it being anti-competitive.
Ashley also has a small stake in JD Sports Fashion.