The buyout fund circling Poundworld has walked away from talks, throwing the future of the chain into doubt.
It emerged over the weekend that Alteri Investors, the backer of troubled chains such as Brantano and Jones Bootmaker, was in discussions over a possible rescue deal for Poundworld.
But Sky News reported today that the firm has ended talks, putting 5,300 jobs at risk if no alternative solution is found.
But it is thought that Poundworld's owners and advisers are still convinced a solvent sale can be achieved. One possible id could come from Poundworld founder Chris Edwards.
In the event of no sale being reached, it is likely Poundworld could be sold in a pre-pack administration agreement.
Any sale would be used to finance a previously announced restructuring programme, meaning as many as 100 stores could close.
Current owner TPG put Poundworld up for sale last month.
But if no deal is reached, the chain could also collapse completely, joining a list of this year's retail casualties which already includes Toys R Us and Maplin.
It is the latest in a string of retailers seeking new financing and slashing the number of stores
Earlier this morning, Carpetright announced a successful placing of new shares to raise emergency cash. This comes hot on the heels of the retailer's plans to close close 81 stores.
Meanwhile Mothercare was forced to announce on Monday that, despite previously saying its restructuring plans had been approved by creditors, a subsidiary Childrens World did not get the green light.