The major consumer business story this morning is last night’s news that convenience chain McColl’s is teetering on administration.

A report yester evening from Sky News said the chain “is on the brink of collapse, putting thousands of high street jobs at risk”. Sky said McColl’s could call in administrators as early as Friday and the imminent collapse is expected to spark renewed interest in a partial takeover from both Morrison’s and EG Group.

PwC, which has been advising McColl’s consortium of lenders is understood to be lining up to handle any administration. A so-called pre-pack deal would allow Morrisons to take on the stores it wants without McColl’s smaller newsagents and its pension scheme. (The Guardian)

The company said it remained in discussions over a refinancing to resolve immediate funding issues and to secure enough cash to continue operating in the longer term (The Times £). It added that it wanted to create a “stable platform for the business going forward” (The BBC).

A collapse would make it one of the largest retail insolvencies since Debenhams and Sir Philip Green’s fashion chains including Topshop went bust (The Telegraph).

The beleaguered convenience store chain has been locked in negotiations with lenders for months over a £97m debt pile it cannot afford to service (The Daily Mail).

It was hit hard by the collapse of its wholesale supplier Palmer and Harvey in late 2017, though a hurriedly arranged partnership with supermarket chain Wm Morrison appeared to offer hope (The Financial Times £).

Tesco has been criticised over its failure to support crisis-hit British pig farmers, as smaller rival Waitrose extended a £16m lifeline to help suppliers manage the jump in production costs caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine (The Guardian). Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, has been warned it must do more to help struggling pork producers or risk “the destruction of the UK pig sector” (Sky News).

‘Fragile’ Ocado is concern for unconvinced analysts, writes The Times. A latest share price drop came after a brutal note from analysts at HSBC, which wrote: “The main challenge that Ocado faces is that it has tied up most of the key developed markets with exclusivity [deals] and in emerging markets automation lacks attraction due to cheap labour.” (The Times £)

The battle for supremacy in the vegan food market has taken a new turn with a legal row over a protein molecule designed to make plant products taste like beef burgers. (The Financial Times £)

A Kent sports drink business IPro is seeking to raise £100m in funding after turning down bids by three private equity companies to sell a majority stake. Thomas Garrad, who acquired the iPro brand in 2015, instead wants to raise working capital to support its further expansion by borrowing and selling a minority stake. (The Times £)

Swiss police say they have seized 500kg of cocaine from a shipment of coffee that was sent to a Nespresso factory. Workers at the plant in Romont alerted the authorities after finding white powder in sacks of coffee beans. (The BBC)