Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley is set to snub a £20m cash call by struggling outdoor retailer Blacks of which he is the largest shareholders.
Blacks is understood to have been sounding out shareholders about a rights issue as it looks at ways to raise new funds. The retailer warned on profits last week blaming the “continuing downward pressure on consumer spending, particularly discretionary spending, and consumer confidence.”
The retailer reaffirrmed that extra funding will be necessary to implement its turnaround strategy. Chairman Peter Williams told Retail Week that it was focusing on a rights issue.
Ashley has a fractious relationship with Blacks. He opposed a fundraising by Blacks Leisure last year and instead Sports Direct submitted a bid to buy the outdoor specialist.
Pressure from Ashley led to long-term chairman of Blacks David Bernstein to resign in August, just days after new chief executive Julia Reynolds took the reins.
Blacks like-for-likes plummeted 7.2% in its first half to August 27, and the retailer said at the end of October that like-for-likes had plunged by 14.2% in it said was “an extremely challenging period for the business and UK retail”.
Blacks and Sports Direct both declined to comment to Sky.