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By Chris Willmott Thursday 04 October 2012 Updated: 11/10 09:50
TWENTY THREE people have lost their jobs after Solihull's JJB Sports store closed its doors this week.
The Sears Retail Park store shut on Monday (October 1) when it was revealed it was not one of the 20 shops which were rescued by rival retailer Sports Direct.
Some 550 jobs have been saved as part of the deal but the 23 employees in Solihull are among 2,200 redundancies created by the business's catastrophic demise.
JJB Sports had been struggling for months and was understood to have debts totalling £36million.
Administrators KPMG confirmed 20 stores, including the one in Leamington Spa, had been sold to Sports Direct, controlled by Newcastle United FC owner Mike Ashley, which has helped save around 550 jobs.
They also confirmed that all redundant staff have been paid up to date and would get help to find new jobs.
"Successive attempts to restructure the business, both financially and operationally, have not been enough to prevent the company falling into administration," said Richard Fleming, UK head of restructuring at KPMG.
"Unfortunately a buyer could only be found for 20 stores on a going concern basis.
"We will now be reviewing what options are available for the remainder of the business, such as selling leasehold interests."
David McCorquodale, corporate finance partner who led the search for a buyer, revealed there had initially been interest from eight trade and private equity companies who tabled offers.
But he said the level of money and restructuring involved proved to be too much of a risk.
He added: "We hope to be able to sell the leasehold interests of some of the remaining stores, which may result in re-employment of some staff."
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