Blacks Leisure has said it is to briefly enter administration as part of a takeover deal.
The so-called prepack arrangement will wipe out the value of existing shares, which have now been suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange.
The retailer said it had received a number of final offers for the bulk of the business and expected to announce a deal in the next few days.
Blacks' stores will remain open for business as usual in the meantime.
The company owns 98 Blacks outlets, 208 Millets stores and the Peter Storm and Eurohike brands. It employs about 3,500 people.
Three partners from accountancy firm KPMG are expected to be appointed administrators, but only once details of an immediate onward sale of the company's key assets and brands has been finalised.
A pre-pack administration is one in which the insolvent company has already arranged for a buyer of its key assets beforehand.
Last month, Blacks appealed for an investor to rescue it by buying the firm or one of its brands.
Scottish clothing group Edinburgh Woollen Mill is reported to be one of the front-runners.
Another retailer, Sports Direct, whose 22.5% stake in Blacks is about to be wiped out, said last month that it had lost interest in buying the rest of the firm.
Blacks reported a £16m loss for the first half of its financial year and last month warned that its annual results would be worse than expected.
The company's shares have fallen by 97% over the last 12 months.