Buyer sought for Millets owner

Blacks Leisure directors open door to a sale of the company or one of its brands
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Blacks Leisure Group, owner of Peter Storm, retail chain Millets and a number of other outdoor brands is up for sale following a troubled financial period for the company.

A statement from the firm read: "Blacks Leisure has previously announced that it needed additional funding in order to execute its strategic plans and that the Board was therefore considering other financing options, including strengthening its capital structure, to ensure that an appropriate platform was in place.The Group has also previously indicated that it would seek to refinance its existing banking facilities before the end of the current financial year on 3 March 2012."

After meeting with its existing shareholders and potential new investors, the directors decided that the Group was unlikely to raise enough funds for the equity requirements of the Group, based on current captial structure and indebtedness.

"As a result, the Directors now wish to invite offers to support further investment in the Group, which is most likely to involve a sale of the Company or sale of one or more of the Group's brands. The company proposes to conduct the sale process through its adviser KPMG who should be contacted by any interested parties.

" As at 5 December 2011, the Group's net bank debt was approximately £36 million. Given the current level of debt within the Group, there can be no assurance that any sale would attribute value to the ordinary shares of the Group.

"The Group continues to be in constructive discussions with its lender, Bank of Scotland plc, who is supportive of the proposed sale process, which the directors are seeking to conclude during January."

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