Blacks Leisure and its advisers KPMG will contact its landlords in the next few weeks with a view to agreeing a company voluntary agreement by November.

Blacks, which is in the middle of a restructuring, is expected to offer landlords six months’ rent to withdraw from leases on 89 stores it wants to close. The stores operate under the Blacks, Millets and Free-spirit brands.

Blacks said the stores earmarked for closure had held back the business: 'The majority of the stores to be closed have not traded profitably for years,' it said.

Neither Blacks nor KPMG would comment on the possibility of a CVA.

Financial Times