JJB Sports is to appoint administrators after failing in its long-running battle to rescue the business.
The move is likely to be accompanied by the sale of certain parts of the business under a pre-pack administration.
The British company requested the suspension of its shares on Monday and said it was clear that any offer for the company would not realise any value for shareholders.
JJB said it would continue to trade through all its retail outlets pending completion of the sale and administration process.
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct business is seen as favourite to pick up a large chunk of the business, although the number of stores will depend on the stance of the competition watchdog.
As many as half of its 180 stores are expected to close in the sale process, threatening a large number of the 4,000 jobs at the firm. JJB said it expected that KPMG would be appointed as administrators.
The group has been hit hard by the squeeze on consumer spending triggered by the financial crisis and by the performance of rivals Sports Direct and JD Sports.
Dundalk Institute of Technology hope to purchase the Dundalk premises and include it in their joint project with the GAA for a new stadium for Louth.