European Food Brokers has bought 37 of the Oddbins stores still open from the off licence chain’s administrator.

Deloitte said it was engaged in discussions and “confident of an imminent deal” on the remaining 48 open stores. The stores will trade as Whittalls Wine Merchants and give EFB its first stores in London and Scotland.

Twenty of the stores are in the capital, with 10 north of the border. Others are in Oxford, Liverpool and Manchester.

“The addition to our retail estate means we can truly call ourselves a national player,” said EFB Group owner Raj Chatha.

“This represents a new dawn for these Oddbins stores and with the well reported financial shackles removed, it will allow for a consistent supply of stock and investment at store level for the benefit of all – most importantly, its loyal staff and consumer base.”

He added: “Our focus over the coming weeks and months will be to replenish the stores with an exciting range at competitive prices. I am also delighted with the number of jobs we have managed to save.”

EFB bought 109 shops from Wine Cellar following its collapse in 2009.

Oddbins was placed into administration earlier this month after HM Revenue & Customs scuppered its plans to restructure its debts through a company voluntary agreement.

Read more
CVAs all the rage as retailers bid to dodge insolvency (13 April 2011)
Deloitte upbeat in hunt for Oddbins buyer (4 April 2011)
Oddbins faces administration after Customs torpedoes survival bid (1 April 2011)