Crucial week ahead for struggling JJB

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AILING Wigan firm JJB will have one week to finalise a restructuring plan to help secure its future.

The company, based at Martland Mill, needs vital funding to secure its store refurbishment.

It was reported yesterday that the management has been given a deadline of September 5 to submit the proposals for a financial restructuring to put it on firmer footing, which is sooner than had been expected.

August proved to be a disastrous month for the firm, once owned by Latics chairman Dave Whelan.

Firstly, American retailer Dicks Sporting Goods wrote off its £20m investment before Harris Associates sold more than five million shares in the beleaguered sports chain.

All of JJB’s major shareholders are thought to be participating in the talks but it is unclear if the time frame has been imposed by Lloyds Banking Group, the retailer’s main lender, or by the group’s management.

JJB has been involved in a long-running survival battle after a slump in sales and a string of profit warnings as it struggles to compete with buoyant rivals.

In July, the company reported a sales drop of 8.7 per cent, prompting Dicks to make the decision to write off its investment.

Company bosses, however, insist they are busy consulting investors about financing directions to take within the next year.