JJB outlines £65m plan to delist and save the business

JJB Sports: restrucutred company to seek listing on AIM
JJB Sports: restrucutred company to seek listing on AIM

JJB Sports plans a radical financial restructure, including plans to raise around £65m and delist from the London Stock Exchange and join the junior stock market, in an effort to stabilise the company.

The financial restructure involves the company raising around  £65m to turn the business around, by issuing 162.5 million new shares, each priced at 40p.

The move, which also involves JJB delisting its shares from the main FTSE stock market and joining AIM (Alternative Investment Market), has been supported by its major shareholders, including the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

The share issue will give JJB Sports some £60m of additional finance once expenses are taken into consideration.

Shareholders must formally approve the plan in a meeting on April 26, but this should be a formality, as shareholders Harris Associates, Crystal Amber, Invesco Asset Management and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust support the plan, which is underwritten by Numis.

JJB Sports announced that it was likely to break its banking covenants in December, and predicted dire trading due to excessive snowfall in the run-up to Christmas.

Rival JD Sports had made a bit to buy JJB, but the offer collapsed in March when JJB announced it was to restructure with a proposed company voluntary agreement (CVA).

Mike McTighe, chairman of JJB, said: "After the approval of our CVA proposals by creditors and shareholders in March, I am delighted that we are today confirming the details of this capital raising with the support of our four largest shareholders.

"Together with the implementation of the CVA and continued availability of our banking facilities with BoS, this fundraising will mark the end of our financial restructuring process. Once complete, it will allow the company to press on with the next stage of implementing its revised business plan, and allow management to focus solely on the turnaround of the group's retail business."

Once the financial restructure is completed, JJB Sports will delist from the main London Stock Exchange and relist on the smaller AIM exchange on 28 April.

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