Shares in JJB Sports (LON:JJB) shot up more than 800 per cent in a frenetic early start to trade after investors agreed to back a £31.5 million share sale that offers the company a financial lifeline.

JJB Sports

The stock was mainly placed with City investors including existing shareholders Harris Associates and the Crystal Amber fund at 5 pence a share. Bizarrely, Bill Gates is also an investor with more than 5 per cent of the beleaguered football boots, shirts and accessories retailer.

The much needed cash injection staves off the immediate prospect of administration, which could have signalled the end for this fixture of the high street.

Last time we featured JJB here on, the bosses of the Wigan-based firm were pleading with shareholders to approve the £31.5m injection, whilst also considering the benefits of a takeover from JD Sports.

However, JJB will need further investor and creditor support for a second company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in as many years if it is to avoid going into administration.

The second CVA proposes the closure of up to 95 JJB stores and the retention of a core group of 150 stores.

The firm, which employs about 6,300 staff, is also in takeover talks with thriving rival JD Sports.

In early trade the shares were changing hands at 33.5 pence each, up 29.69 pence.

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