The potential takeover of Blacks Leisure may be pulled as several of the interested parties are reported to have walked away from discussions.

Rival chain Go Outdoors and investor Lloyds Development Capital had been touted as the two leading candidates to buy Blacks but The Financial Times said formal bids are unlikely to be tabled by the pair.

Sports Direct and Pentland, both of which already hold a stake in Blacks, are also understood to have left the process. Private equity firm Lion Capital, which owns Cotswold Outdoor, is also thought not to be interested.

Blacks chief executive Neil Gillis told Retail Week at the beginning of January that the “distracting” bidding process would be concluded before the end of the month regardless of whether a potential suitor emerged.