CWS has emerged as one of the favourites to buy Alldays as the troubled convenience store chain considers a number of possible takeover bids. Alldays this week completed the restructuring of its 32 franchise operators, known as Regional Development Companies, with the sale of its stake in the final four RDCs in Anglia and the south west to management. Chairman George Duncan said: "The completion of the RDC buy in and disposal programme represents a watershed for the company. "With this major exercise behind us we are now considering various options open to us and as part of this process are responding to recent approaches from potential purchasers of the business." The company would not comment on possible suitors. Some analysts believed capital venture groups would be the most likely bidders. However, others pointed out that CWS was one retail group with aggressive plans to grow its c-store business under the Co-op Welcome banner. The society would not comment. Budgens, Sainsbury and T&S Stores are also keen to build their network of convenience outlets ­ but none of them are thought to be in the frame. The size of Alldays' debts will make rival retailers think twice about making a bid ­ the completion of the RDC restructuring leaves the chain with total borrowings of £175m. On the upside, Alldays has a market capitalisation of a little over £8m. And this for a company running a network of 700 stores, of which 671 are directly owned. Duncan also stressed that a sale was only one of the options open to Alldays. "The consolidation of store ownership has created a national network of directly owned stores and a platform with the potential to increase future trading profits." But he warned that second half results ­ due out soon ­ would show a "modest deterioration" on first half figures. {{NEWS }}