Venture capitalist Jon Moulton has pulled out of the running to buy ailing sportswear retailer JJB Sports.
Sources close to the sale of the retailer claimed that the investor did not submit a bid for the retailer via his Better Capital venture by Friday’s deadline, despite speaking to JJB’s main lender Lloyds Banking Group last month.
Restructuring firm GA Europe is believed to have submitted a bid for the retailer, while French sporting products retailer Decathalon and private investment firm OpCapita are thought to be among 10 parties to have received sales information last week.
JJB founder Dave Whelan is interested in picking up between 30 and 40 stores for his DW Sports retail and fitness club chain, Retail Week revealed last week.
Whelan believes it is unlikely that JJB will be sold in its entirety. “There will be people interested in taking certain stores, but no one will be interested in the full thing. They will take some stores then it’ll be receivership,” he said.
Decathalon is also thought to only be interested in a slimmed-down incarnation of JJB’s 180-store estate. Up to 100 stores could be closed if a pre-pack administration is enacted.
Lacklustre sales during the European Championships, combined with poor trading conditions throughout the year, forced JJB to put itself up for sale.
The retailer has drafted in former La Senza boss Beverley Williams to replace former chief executive Keith Jones and lead a turnaround of the business.