Blacks Leisure has moved a step closer to entering pre-pack administration.

The troubled outdoor clothing retailer, which is being circled by potential buyers, disclosed this morning that it does not expect an offer for its shares.

Blacks Leisure, which owns Blacks and Millets stores, said it only expects offers for its “trade, assets and brands”. Observers believe that means a pre-pack administration is likely.

Interested buyers are thought to include Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Sports Direct founder and Blacks shareholder Mike Ashley, who is thought to be interested in making an offer through one of his other investment vehicles.

Blacks said: “The board notes that it does not have and does not now expect to receive an offer for the shares of Blacks Leisure. Accordingly the takeover panel has confirmed that the company is now out of an offer period.

“Blacks Leisure continues to hold discussions with a number of selected parties with a view to concluding the sale process in January 2012.”

Shares in Blacks fell more than 40% following the announcement, and have lost more than 97% of their value since the start of the year.

The retailer is shouldering £36m of debt and made a £16m loss in its first-half.