UK-based sporting goods retailer JJB Sports is expected to file for administration this week that could result in the closure of about a 100 stores.
The sportswear giant Sports Direct, which is controlled by its founder Mike Ashley, is currently a front runner to acquire part of JJB out of pre-packaged administration deal.
The pre-pack deal allows JJB to be placed into administration and sold immediately, allowing buyers to shut lossmaking stores.
Mansfield-headquartered Sports Direct is expected to acquire less than 50 of JJB’s 180 stores while the rest could face closure.
Wigan-based JJB had put itself up for sale at the end of August 2012 having failed to secure the requisite funds to overhaul its stores.
Other companies interested in buying JJB include private investment firm OpCapita and French sporting goods retailer Decathlon, reported Belfast Telegraph.
JJB founder Dave Whelan was quoted by the website as saying that he would not make an offer for the retailer but would instead look to pick up individual stores if JJB was bought or fell into administration.
The firm, formed in 1971 by Dave Whelan, has 180 stores across the UK and 10 stores in Northern Ireland and sponsors the IFA’s Irish Cup.
The product offerings of JJB include sports textiles, footwear, replica shirts, equipment, accessories, cycles and golfing products.