Shareholders in troubled retailer JJB Sports have backed a £31.5m fundraising, taking the store group one step forward towards survival.

Approval of a share placing and open offer at an EGM today was widely expected because leading investors including Crystal Amber, Harris Associates and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust had all indicated they would support the proposal.

However the new money is only likely to see JJB Sports though until March or April.

A company voluntary arrangement likely to lead to the closure of 45 stores over the next 12 months – and raising a question mark over the future of another 50 – along with a new business plan to be approved by the retailer’s bank and another round of fundraising will also be necessary to stave off administration for JJB.