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Blacks Leisure announces new fund-raising

Only weeks after a similar £20 million fund-raising was rejected by significant shareholder Mike Ashley, Blacks Leisure has announced a new offer which will only require a majority acceptance from shareholders. At the same time the company announced losses of £46.9 million which were actually in line with analyst forecasts after a major restructuring of the company.

It was only last November that Blacks Leisure narrowly escaped administration and was forced to restructure its store portfolio and come to a deal with landlords. The £20 million in question should allow the company to follow through with the next phase of a recovery program which should hopefully see the group put back onto a sounder financial footing.

It is also worth noting that Mike Ashley made an offer for the company last year which was rejected and he may well step forward again in an attempt to merge his sportswear operation with Blacks Leisure. The problems at Blacks Leisure are a perfect reflection of ongoing concerns within the UK retail sector where many companies are struggling to meet their financial obligations. Whether we are over the worst in the UK retail sector is open to debate but we do need to see further banking finance in the short, medium and longer term.

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