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Is it sour grapes from Sports Direct over JD purchase of Blacks?

JD Sports announced this week that they had completed a deal worth £20 million with the administrators KPMG of Black Leisure but Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has called foul.

Ashley wants the Office of Fair Trading to scrutinise the sports retail and outdoor because it stated issues with suppliers had prevented his group moving forward.

Sports Direct said that major supplier The North Face, had refused to enter into discussions with them during the sales process to find a buyer for the Blacks business.

SD went on to say the "disappointing" Blacks administration was made all the more so by the 2010 dismissal by the retailer of a 62p per share offer it made in 2010 on the grounds that the bid was ""wholly inadequate".

The company believe the OFT should now examine the outdoor and sports retail markets "to ensure they operate in the best interests of the consumer".

It said: "During the asset sale process run by KPMG, Sports Direct has looked closely at the Blacks business, always in the best interests of our shareholders.

"However, given supplier relationship issues that remain, such as The North Face who were not prepared to respond to our approaches, we could not justify a higher price for the Blacks business."

The successful JD Sports Fashion's bid Chairman Peter Cowgill told BBC 5 Live that "I would say that JD being the owner of Blacks probably offers the highest prospect level for all the employees in the group."

He also warned retail landlords that JD would be seeking to renegotiate "more realistic rents" to ensure the future viability of the Blacks business.

TS

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