Bargain Booze has finally been sold to venture capitalist ECI Partners in a deal worth £63.5m.

The move constitutes a secondary management buy-out, with ECI backing Bargain Booze’s existing management team, including joint MDs Tim Stanley and Matthew Hughes. In addition, Roger Pedder has been appointed chairman by ECI.

Other venture capitalists that expressed an interest in the sale included Lloyds Development Capital and Barclays.

The sale will enable previous owner BWG, based in Ireland, to focus on its UK food distribution and retailing businesses.

Bargain Booze will now be freed up to develop its franchise strategy. The company has 560 franchise stores, trading under the Bargain Booze, Bargain Booze Plus and Thorougoods, scatttered around the north west, Cheshire and the West Midlands. It has an estimated turnover of £400m and profits of £10m.

BWG operates the Spar, Eurospar, Spar Express and Mace franchises in the Republic of Ireland and the Spar franchise in south west England. It announced the sale of Bargain Booze in March last year.