JJB Sports has received a boost after US investment firm Harris Associates upped its stake in the beleaguered retailer to become its largest shareholder.

Harris has been progressively upping its stake in the business all week, from 93 million shares to 116 million, overtaking the previous largest shareholder Crystal Amber.

Its share now represents 17.9 % of JJB Sports compared with Crystal Amber’s 15.4 %.

The move has prompted renewed speculation that Harris Associates, headed up by David Herro, is positioning itself to take over the company.

Harris is a long-term investor in JJB and has gradually increased its interest in the retailer.

The Chicago-based investor, which specialises in identifying and acquiring undervalued assets, has taken a keen interest in UK businesses, counting Carpetright, Matalan and Trinity Mirror among its former or current investments.