Struggling sportswear chain JJB Sports saw its stock market fortunes improve after it raised £3.4 million through the sale of a stake in itself to rival Sports Direct International.
Shares in the firm, which announced the move over the weekend as part of a plan to shore up its finances, rose more than 20% at one point.
It left entrepreneur Mike Ashley's Sports Direct - owner of the Sports World chain - with an immediate paper profit on the 11.9 million shares bought for 28.5p. Shares were trading as high as 40p today.
Sports Direct also said it held contracts for difference - a form of derivative - on 42.9 million JJB shares, giving it an overall interest in the sportswear company of 22%.
The company has a history of buying shares in competitors, having taken 13% of JD Sports and 29% of surfwear and outdoor clothing business Blacks Leisure. It said the JJB move fitted with its policy of making investments where it stood to "gain a strategic or commercial advantage".
Panmure Gordon analyst Philip Dorgan described the latest investment as "curious".
He added: "Quite what commercial or strategic advantage it hopes to achieve is not plain to see. Perhaps it is best to believe that Sports Direct sees an opportunity to make money in a share price that has fallen dramatically from a 12 month high of 175p to as low as 11p."
Mr Dorgan said the cash injection from Sports Direct should help persuade the stock market that JJB's shares have been oversold.
He added: "This fundraising puts JJB on a more secure financial footing, and provides it with flexibility in dealing with its banks and in trading through the worst retail environment for over 30 years."
JJB was given a boost last week after it said "constructive discussions" were under way with lenders Barclays and Halifax Bank of Scotland over its debts, which stood at £57.6 million at the end of July.
It recently posted half-year losses of £9.7 million and its auditors said there was "significant doubt" about its ability to continue as a going concern. Wigan-based JJB, which has 400 stores, has also been hit by credit insurer Coface refusing to cover suppliers against the risk of it going bust.
JJB confirmed last week it had received an approach for its Lifestyle division, which includes Qube and Original Shoe Company.