Sports Link buckles under overdue debts

Singapore

RETAILER Sports Link Holdings has been ordered to be wound up upon an application by supplier Adidas Singapore over S$1 million in overdue trade payables. The retailer with total debts amounting to at least S$3.4 million did not oppose the move.

Sports Link's cash-flow difficulties appeared to have predated the novel coronavirus outbreak and became acute in April 2018, when it failed to pay sportswear manufacturer Adidas Singapore S$1.3 million it owed in trade payables, according to an affidavit by an Adidas Singapore director.

Despite Sports Link having repaid a fraction of the debt and also agreeing to a repayment plan, it failed to follow through on its financial obligations. By November last year, the amount the company - which was incorporated in 1994 - owed to Adidas stood at about S$991,000.

Adidas Singapore, through its law firm BlackStone & Gold, served a statutory demand on Sports Link seeking immediate repayment last November. It then applied to liquidate Sports Link after repayment was not forthcoming.

After the intention to liquidate Sports Link was advertised, a few other creditors - mainly sportswear vendors and an interior design firm - also came forward in support of the move. The total amount of debt owed to them is at least S$2.4 million, with the single-largest sum being S$1.2 million due to a Malaysian sports vendor for Brooks brand of products.

The High Court granted Adidas Singapore's application last Friday, with no objection from Sports Link, The Business Times understands.

It is unknown how much liabilities the company has in its books, as a search of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority database showed that Sports Link has not filed its financial statements in recent years.

A website showed that Sports Link at a time had about 24 outlets in Singapore, including under brands known as ae by Sportslink and Hoops Factory.

According to a past article, Sports Link was founded by the late businessman Lim Kau Tee who used to sell stationery from the back of a bicycle before setting up Sports Link.

BT has tried to contact Sports Link by email and calls but was unsuccessful.

Sports Link's failure came on the heels of the liquidation of another homegrown hardware retailer Home-Fix DIY last month after a futile attempt to rescue the business under judicial management.