JD Sports scraps JJB takeover proposal

Football boots
Image caption JJB said that its restructuring continues as planned for a "standalone future"

Sports retailer JD Sports has scrapped its takeover pursuit of JJB Sports, claiming its rival snubbed requests for information.

The companies revealed in a joint statement last month that they were in "early stage" negotiations.

But JD said it had got no response from JJB for information to help it proceed with its bid approach.

JJB, whose shares slumped on the news, said that JD's bid plan was "lacking sufficient certainty".

JD said in a statement on Friday that it had asked for details about a proposed restructuring of JJB's property portfolio but that it had "received no further information whatsoever from JJB Sports".

Shares in JD closed 5.3% higher, while JJB shares fell 10%.

Store closures

Despite a major promotional drive, JJB's sales have fallen and the company is engaged in a restructuring.

The Wigan-based business is offering landlords up to £7.5m if they accept a deal that could see 89 stores close as it battles to stave off administration.

A deal with JD would have created one of the biggest High Street chains in the UK.

Mike McTighe, chairman of JJB, said after JD withdrew its interest: "We welcome today's clarification from JD Sports.

"JJB's restructuring continues as planned with the whole management team focused on and committed to delivering a stable standalone future for JJB and its employees.

"The board remains confident that with the support of our stakeholders we can achieve a successful turnaround of the business."

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