Discount booze and c-store chain Cellar 5 has called in the receivers, blaming mounting debts and relentless price slashing from the multiples.

Over 330 stores under the Booze Buster off-licence banner, 60 Right Choice c-stores and about 45 specialist wine outlets under the Wine Cellar fascia are up for grabs, but only parcels of estate are likely to interest potential buyers as a lot of the stores are less than 1,000 sq ft.

Les Ross from receiver Grant Thornton said he had received several expressions of interest in the business, which had struggled to compete in an increasingly cut-throat market.

Simons is understood to have made approaches to potential buyers in late summer when the chain’s credibility started to suffer through poor availability.

News of the receivership coincided with the sudden death of Simons’ predecessor, Iranian entrepreneur Nader Haghighi, who bought out Parisa’s cafe bars in 2001 and sold them to SFI in a £14m deal.

For full details, see this week’s copy of The Grocer.