ODDBINS administrator Deloitte has sold 37 of the 85 stricken stores to Whittall’s.
The wine retailer was forced into administration earlier this month after its creditors, including HM Revenue & Customs, refused to accept lower repayment terms.
Whittall’s, which is a subsidiary of multi-millionaire Raj Chatha’s European Food Brokers, said yesterday the deal means investment in the stores can resume. Around 200 jobs will be saved thanks to the deal.
A Deloitte spokesman said: “We are currently engaged in a range of discussions regarding the sale of the remaining 48 open stores and are confident of an imminent deal.”
Oddbins has an annual turnover of £75m, including £2m of online sales.
Chatha has already proved he can turn around failing off-licences. When Unwins collapsed, he snapped up 12 branches for his Whittall’s stores, which he acquired in 1999.
He started his business empire from scratch with a cash and carry operation in Halifax.
First Quench Retailing, owner of Oddbins’ rivals Threshers and Wine Rack, went into administration in 2009.