Raj Chatha has slammed Threshers' administrators after his bid to buy 200 stores was rejected.

The CEO of European Food Brokers claimed price and "horse trading" had stopped him striking a deal with KPMG, whose hopes of selling large chunks of First Quench Retailing's estate are fading fast.

Chatha said he had no plans to up the offer because even if it was accepted, there was no longer enough time to restock the stores in time for the crucial Christmas period.

Chatha, who recently bought 109 stores from Wine Cellar after it fell into administration, had been expected to take on the biggest number of stores and had also tried to buy the Wine Rack, Local and Threshers fascias.

"We have walked away," he said. "We couldn't reach an agreement with the administrators, which has surprised me no end. The administrators have not done a very good job as far as I'm concerned. There's a hell of a lot of people they have put out of work when they didn't need to."

However, Richard Fleming, KPMG head of UK restructuring, said Chatha's bid was too low. "We will sell those stores for more money elsewhere," he said. "We have done a good job for the creditors by not taking a poor offer."

Northern off-licence chain Rhythm & Booze has become the biggest buyer to date, snapping up 34 sites and almost doubling its store estate to 74. MD Martin Swaine has taken on all 180 store staff.

KPMG is still hoping to sell 100 stores to bulk ­bidders, while more than 1,000 stores are now being sold individually by Christie & Co.