Sports Direct acquires Blacks Leisure shares to thwart fundraising

UK sportswear giant Sports Direct has purchased 12 million shares in Blacks Leisure, acquiring 28.5 per cent stake in the outdoor goods chain.

Sports Direct's recent move is seen as an effort to scupper Blacks Leisure's recovery plan as it would strengthen Sports Direct's position to vote against a rights issue due to be endorsed by the investors of Blacks Leisure.

Blacks Leisure has plans to raise 22 million pounds but it requires 75 per cent of the shareholder vote to go on with its fundraising plans.

There was a dispute going between Mike Ashley's Sports Direct group and collapsed bank Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Ltd and its administrator Ernst & Young over the ownership of Blacks stake and JD Sports Fashion.

Ernst & Young announced on Monday that it had sold 12.15 million shares in Blacks and 5.78 million shares in JD Sports to Mike Ashley's Sports Direct.

Shares in Blacks Leisure were trading flat at 54.5p-a-sahre, while Shares in Sports Direct were trading at 104.3p-a-share, down 1.1 per cent.