ORIGINAL Shoe Company of Cumnock has taken over the majority of operations at collapsed retail chain Sports Connection in a deal that industry sources said was valued at between (pounds) 2m and (pounds) 3m.

Original Shoe has purchased 24 of the 30 stores that continued trading after executives at Sports Connection called in receivers KPMG on January 30. The remaining six stores, including three in Glasgow, have been closed with immediate effect.

A total of 116 staff will be made redundant, including a number of employees at Sport Connection's headquarters at Hillington on the outskirts of Glasgow. The 24 Sports Connection stores that will continue trading support a total of 210 jobs.

David Hammond, managing director of Original Shoe, said the sportswear business would compliment his company's existing network of 31 branded clothing outlets across Scotland and England. ''We are looking forward to providing focus to the business, which we consider to be Scotland's premier sports retail brand, and to developing its future potential,'' Hammond said in a statement.

Stuart Overend of Aberdeen Development Capital - which owns a roughly 20% stake in Original Shoe - said many of the stores would retain the Sports Connection name, but some would be shifted over to the Original Shoe format. A budget of about (pounds) 400,000 has been earmarked to revitalise the stumbling operation.

Established in 1980, Sports Connection had 600 full and part-time staff before large debts and poor trading over the holiday season forced it to call in the receivers. Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar of KPMG Corporate Recovery immediately closed 13 of the chain's loss-making stores in an effort to increase the attractiveness of the business to potential buyers.

Nimmo confirmed that the offer from Original Shoe had beaten off a competing bid from a buy-out team led by managing director Paul Stern. Nimmo said the MBO bid - which was reportedly worth about (pounds) 1m - fell ''significantly'' short of that from Original Shoe.