The best of the fashion business related headlines from the weekend’s newspapers…
The Sunday Telegraph reported that JJB Sports chief executive Chris Ronnie is expected to be dismissed from the company within days, following an investigation into a share sale at the company. JJB Sports’ board ordered an investigation into how Ronnie’s 27.5% stake in the company had been offloaded last year, without being disclosed. The report said that board had concluded Ronnie must leave after contravening City rules. It added that former Selfridges chief executive Peter Williams, who joined the board at the beginning of the month, could be an internal candidate to replace Ronnie.
The Financial Times reported that Baugur, the Icelandic investment group, is to shut its Reykjavik office and lay off staff in London. The newspaper said that the group, which owns stakes in retailers including House of Fraser and Mosaic Fashions, was cutting costs.
Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley is considering a bid for rival JJB Sports’ fitness club division, according to The Sunday Times. Ashley is understood to have formally logged his interest in making an offer with Lazard, the investment bank handling the sale. JJB Sports hopes to rise between £30 million and £50m from the sale. Other parties who have expressed interest include JJB Sports founder Dave Whelan, gym operator Fitness First, according to the report.
The newspaper added that the sale could be complicated by the need for any buyer to agree fresh rental agreements with JJB, as most of the fitness clubs are located above or next door to JJB Sports stores.