Oddbins edges closer to rescue deal

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Oddbins rescue
// Advances talks taking place between Oddbins’ former owner EFB and administrators to save the wine retailer
// 13 Oddbins stores have shut down since it fell into administration in February
// EFB is seeking to take Oddbins back from the hands of administrators after offloading stores

Oddbins is edging closer to being rescued from administration after its former owner entered advanced talks with administrators to save the wine retailer.

According to Press Association, the advanced talks are taking place between Raj Chatta and insolvency firm Duff & Phelps over a deal to rescue Oddbins’ remaining stores.

Chatta, whose firm European Food Brokers (EFB) bought Oddbins out of administration in 2011, is reportedly seeking to take the retailer back from the hands of administrators after offloading stores.

It is understood that 13 Oddbins stores, mainly based in London, have already shut down since the retailer entered administration in February.

EFB had appointed administrators for its retail operation, which is made more than 100 Oddbins, Wine Cellar and Whittards Wine Merchants stores.

The parent group and its drinks distribution business did not enter administration.

Oddbins has continued to trade as a going concern for the past four months as rescue talks took place.

A rescue deal to secure Oddbins’ future will also see a number of its former locations sold to help stabilise its financial future.

Oddbins was founded by Ahmed Pochee in London in 1963, after starting the firm by delivering wine to clubs and restaurants in the capital.

EFB blamed the recent collapse on “extremely tough” trading conditions.

Duff & Phelps said Oddbins was a victim of tough times on the high street and its administration comes amid a tough period for booze retailers.

Duff & Phelps and EFB have not commented.

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