UPDATED: Sports Direct succeeded yesterday in acquiring the rights to a disputed 29% stake in Blacks Leisure to vote against its rescue plans.

The move, some analyst believe, could be a precursor to a bid from Sports Direct for Blacks.

Sports Direct has been in a dispute with the administrators of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, Ernst & Young, over its stake in both Blacks and JD Sports Fashion, in which it held as 11% stake.

The sports retailer controlled by Mike Ashley said it had acquired the rights, title and interest in both lots of shares. It said the acquisition “is without prejudice to certain existing rights of the parties” in relation to the ongoing litigation between itself and Ernst & Young.

Sports Direct now plans to vote against Blacks’ proposed rescue plan at its annual meeting on Wednesday. The rescue plan includes a proposed £20m fundraising.   

Last February, Sports Direct made a takeover bid for Blacks but did not disclose that it had lost control of its 29.9% stake in the outdoor retailer.

Blacks subsequently reported Sports Direct to the Financial Services Authority for allegedly breaking City rules.