Tube chiefs insist underground stations are not for sale, despite negotiating with a wine brand over renaming Oxford Circus as Oxford Landing.

Australian brand Oxford Landing Estates had approached Transport for London in February and proposed rebranding the station for three months over the summer.

Plans included temporarily changing Oxford Circus signs to read 'Oxford Landing', installing floor and wall transfers depicting soil and vineyards, and sponsoring electronic screens alongside escalators and stairs.

Oxford Landing UK distributor Negociants UK discussed the rebranding plans with TfL's commercial arm, said Negociants managing director Simon Thorpe.

"We had got to the stage where we were talking money, timings and how we were going to execute some of the plans," he said.

But the scheme ground to a halt when TfL's intellectual property rights team got involved, he said. Negociants was told rebranding the station would be possible, he claimed, but said TfL had demanded an "unworkable" fee.

Transport bosses admit informal discussions took place over Oxford Landing's plans, but told The Grocer it does not allow companies to rebrand stations.

The situation was frustrating, said Thorpe,

"We were offering a shed-load of money but the number they came back with was 20 times the amount," he said. "We were going to invest significantly in the network and thought the funds would be a welcome boost."