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Blacks Leisure in sale talks

Outdoor retailer Blacks Leisure has appointed corporate advisory firm McQueen to advise on a possible sale of the company after receiving multiple bid approaches.

Blacks said in a statement today it was “in preliminary discussions with several parties regarding either a possible offer for the company or an offer to acquire certain of the company’s trading activities and related assets. There is no certainty that any formal offers will be forthcoming or as to the terms on which any such offer might be made.”

The announcement follows speculation that Blacks has received at least two indicative takeover approaches from private equity firms.

According to the Telegraph, one of the approaches could have been from Lion Capital, the private equity owner of AS Adventure Group, which owns Cotswold Outdoor, and of a stake in US retail chain American Apparel.

Lion Capital was a potential suitor for Blacks in 2009, along with sportswear millionaire Mike Ashley, who owns rival Sports Direct.

Blacks has had a difficult few years and chief executive Neil Gillis is in the middle of a turnaround. It underwent a company voluntary arrangement last November, which saw it exit almost 100 stores.

The retailer is seen as an attractive target as it has closed many loss-making stores and is cash-generative.

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