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Blacks to raise £20m to speed up recovery

Outdoors specialist Blacks Leisure has unveiled proposals to raise £20.3m through a share placing and open offer to drive the recovery of the business.

Cash generated will be used to speed up the transformation of the retailer - which implemented a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) last November – by enabling store refurbishments and openings, and the cancellation of a seasonal peak working capital facility of £7.5m.

Blacks chief executive Neil Gillis said: “The fundraising proposals will enable us to pursue the crucial growth phase of our recovery plan.

“The proceeds will underpin a selective expansion of our outdoor retail estate by the addition of up to 35 new stores, in towns where we have previously traded successfully or which currently lack an outdoor retail offer, and accelerate the refurbishment of our core estate which has suffered from years of underinvestment.”

He said Blacks “clear and well financed recovery plan” would allow realisation of the potential of the business, which runs the Millets chain as well as eponymous shops.

The offer will be fully underwritten by Singer Capital Markets. Shareholders will be asked to approve the fundraising at a meeting on February 24 and new shares will begin trading the following day.

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