Oddbins sells 37 stricken stores to Whittall’s

Steve Dinneen
Follow Steve
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.