JJB shareholder Bill Gates could lose £20m after the sportswear retailer warned investors its shares could be worthless.
The Microsoft founder had shares in the up-for-sale retailer through a foundation he shares with his wife.
JJB was put up for sale on Thursday and interested parties signed a non-disclosure agreement on Friday.
Private equity specialist Jon Moulton is believed to be interested in a bid through his Better Capital investment vehicle. However, sources claim he is not confident of striking a deal due to the number of parties involved.
French retail giant Decathalon and former JJB owner Dave Whelan are understood to have entered the race to buy the 180-store retailer, alongside turnaround firm OpCapita and the retailer’s largest shareholder, Invesco Asset Management.
Archrivals Sports Direct and JD Sports are also understood to be interested in acquiring some of JJB’s stores.
JJB lender Lloyds Banking Group said the bank is not interested in a debt-for-equity swap, while KPMG, which is running the sale process, said it had had “good interest” in the retailer.
Sports Direct is expected to report a bounce in sales due to JJB’s woes when it reports its first-quarter results to the city this week.Mike Ashley’s sportswear chain is expected to meet its £270m “super-stretch” target for the current year, meaning the Newcastle United owner would pocket 8 million shares, worth £24m, if the company hits £340m in sales in 2015.