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JJB Sports set to appoint administrator

Troubled sportswear chain JJB Sports is to appoint KPMG as adminstrator with a pre-pack deal is expected in the “next few days”.

The retailer, which put itself up for sale last month, said that any sale will be effected through an administration process.

The retailer said: “It is expected that the process to commence the appointment of administrators of the company will begin today although the actual appointments are only likely to take effect just before the completion of any such sale.”

JJB will appoint KPMG partners Brian Green, David Costley-Wood and Richard Fleming before any deal is completed. It will trade all stores until then.

The retailer’s shares have been suspended on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market with immediate effect.

JJB Sports has been in talks with prospective buyers for several weeks. Parties interested in all or part of the business is thought to include Sports Direct, Irish conglomerate Stafford Group and restructuring firm GA Europe. KPMG has been leading the sale process.

Reports have suggested that only half of JJB’s 180 stores are likely to be sold.

JJB has suffered falling sales for some years and has conducted two CVAs, allowing it to dispose of underperforming stores, as well as capital raisings. A steep downturn in trading and poor performance during Euro 2012 left it teetering on the brink.

Last week it was reported that the retailer was undergoing an investigation by HMRC into wrongly charging VAT on kidswear.

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