Oddbins administrators poised for sale of business

The administrators of beleaguered UK wine retailer Oddbins and Wine Cellar Limited are poised to push through a sale of the business in the next few weeks, it has confirmed, after months of delay.

Writing in an updated report for creditors published on Companies House, joint-administrators Duff & Phelps said terms of the sale would be agreed with a propsed purchaser – who is believed to be the business’s former owner – buying individual stores within the 56-strong retail portfolio.

Store that are trading includes 32 Oddbin stores (the trading name of Whittalls Wine Merchants 1, in England and Whittalls Wine Merchants 2 in Scotland), and 24 under Wine Cellars Trading Limited (WCTL), which trades under the Booze Buster, Simply Drinks, Oddies, and Shop2Go fascias, after nearly half (45%) of the retail stores owned by European Food Brokers Retail Ltd were shut as unprofitable in March.

Shoosmiths were appointed to draw up the terms of the sale but althought reports surfaced back in June that the UK wine merchant may be rescued from administration by its former owners four months after being placed in administration back, delays were incurred by the proposed purchaser having to resolve issues with HMRC over their due diligence and a potential wage arrears claim, the documents said, which has now been resolved. 

They added that although they expected to be able to continue trading until the sale goes through, the timescale remained uncertain.

Last month it was revealed that the parent company lost £10 million in 2018, and was stripped of its alcohol wholesale registration scheme licence (AWRS) six months before its retail businesses were placed in administration.

For our in-depth analysis of what went wrong and Oddbin’s potential rescue plan (first published in June), please see here.

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