JD Sports is close to making an offer for parts of up-for-sale outdoor specialist Blacks Leisure.
JD is understood to be amongst the four parties preparing to make their final bids for the outdoor retailer which are due to be submitted to KPMG tomorrow, according to the Financial Times.
The bid will put JD head-to-head against rival sports retailer Sports Direct which is also understood to be in the final four.
Any deal to save the retailer, which operates the Blacks and Millets chains, is likely to be via a pre-pack administration.
The four second round bidders are understood to be interested in acquiring the bulk of Black Leisure’s 300 stores.
Other retailers including Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Go Outdoors and Mountain Warehouse are understood to have dropped out of the race as they were interested in taking on a smaller number of stores.
Last month Blacks dropped plans to raise fresh capital and put itself up for sale after failing to secure extra funding from shareholders and potential new investors.
The retailer’s like-for-likes plummeted 7.2% in its first half to August 27 and, when it revealed its interims in October, the retailer said they had plunged by 14.2% since the end of the period.
The outdoor specialist, which has debts of £36m, reported that losses before tax had widened from £7.2m to £16m in its first half.