road.cc reported earlier this week that Go Outdoors were looking to appointed administrators, and less than 24 hours after Deloitte were called in, Go Outdoors' owners JD Sports have taken it back for £56.5 million.
In an update to the London Stock Exchange on Monday following speculation in the press over the weekend, JD Sports said that it had “considered a number of strategic options” for the business, which trades from 67 main stores plus a handful of standalone fishing stores. It confirmed that Go Outdoors’ directors had lodged a notice of intention to appoint administrators in court, which “creates an immediate moratorium around the company and its property which lasts for ten business days.” JD Sports said that during that period, Go Outdoors’ “creditors cannot take legal action or continue with any existing legal proceedings against the company without the court's permission. It added: “Administrators have not yet been appointed and the group will make no further comment at this time.”
It left us wondering what would happen to the bike brand Calibre, the news of possible administration coming a short while after we learned that Mike Sanderson, the man behind the design of the highly-rated Calibre Bikes had left the company and moved on to pastures new at the end of last year. road.cc reports that the move will involve restructuring to make the business viable, giving us cause to think that the bike brand could be bought and become a separate business? We'd certainly like to see the brand continue to produce the awesome value bike they are known for but without the buying power of Go Outdoors, is that possible?
In terms of the current developments, JD Sports say most jobs will be saved as staff are transferred over to the new company. The JD Sports Fashion CEO Peter Cowgill said: "As a consequence of Covid-19, Go Outdoors was no longer viable as previously structured and would have absorbed capital at an unsustainable rate for the foreseeable future.
"Having investigated all available options for the business, we firmly believe that this restructuring will provide Go Outdoors with a platform from which it can progress whilst remaining a member of the group. Most importantly, we are pleased that it will protect the maximum number of jobs possible.
"We look forward to having positive conversations with landlords and agreeing new flexible lease contracts which reflect the widely reported challenges of reduced consumer footfall."
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