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JJB Sports offloads stores to Sports Direct

JJB Sports has sold four of its store to rival Sports Direct for £3.4 million, while one of its key lenders, Barclays is understood to have appointed Grant Thornton to advise it on JJB’s future business plans.

JJB Sports said in a statement it had sold Sports Direct its stores in Cardiff Bay, Salisbury, Worthing and York Davygate.

The four stores generated pre-tax profits of £1.1 million for the year ended January 27 2008.

JJB Sports said that the proceeds from the transaction would be used to reduce its level of borrowing.

Meanwhile The Sunday Telegraph reported that Barclays, which has lent JJB Sports around £60m, had drafted in recovery and restructuring specialist Grant Thornton to advise it on the retailer’s future. Advisers from KPMG are already helping JJB Sports negotiate with its various banks.

JJB Sports ran into difficulty earlier this year following the collapse of the Icelandic banking system. JJB Sports is backed by Icelandic investment group Exista. JJB was also hit by the withdrawal of credit insurance for its suppliers and landlords are believed to have sent bailiffs to some of its stores after JJB sent out post-dated rent cheques.

JJB Sports posted a loss of £9.7m for the 26 weeks to July 27.

Last week JD Sports Fashionbought a 10% stake in JJB Sports.

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