JJB shareholder Invesco ‘in shakeup plan’

Fund manager Invesco, which owns 47% of JJB Sports, has reportedly lost patience with the company after poor sales

The biggest shareholder in JJB Sports has been linked to a plan that would see it force through a restructuring of the ailing retailer.

Fund manager Invesco, which owns 47% of the company, has reportedly lost patience with the business and wants to buy its outstanding debt from Lloyds Banking Group so that it is in a better position to make changes.

According to the Sunday Times, it would work with one of JJB’s existing backers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, on a far-reaching restructuring plan.

JJB, which is thought to have considered the proposal at a board meeting last week, has been involved in a long-running survival battle after a slump in sales and a string of profit warnings.

The company secured its most recent lifeline just three months ago when it landed £20m from Dick’s and a further £10m from existing shareholders, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It earmarked £20m of the most recent funding on converting 60 of its most important stores in 2012 and 2013 into a new format that during trials produced much-improved sales and margins.

But it admitted last month that it would need additional funds for the programme sooner than it had expected.

The former boss of lingerie chain La Senza, Beverley Williams, was last week appointed as interim chief executive at JJB in a move that will see her work alongside US retail recovery specialist Bob Corliss.

The group has 180 stores and employs 4,000 people.

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