The owner of wine retailer Oddbins is preparing to appoint administrators for the second time in less than a decade.
European Food Brokers, which owns subsidiaries Wine Cellar Trading and Whittalls Wine Merchants, said it has filed a notice of intent to appoint Duff & Phelps as administrators to fix an insolvency, Sky News reported tonight.
EFB, which employs 539 people, said it will continue to trade throughout the process and is seeking a buyer.
The Walsall-based business made a net loss of more than £4m in the 18 months to the end of July last year.
"We have filed a notice of intention to appoint Duff & Phelps as administrators for Wine Cellar Trading Limited, Whittals Wines Merchants 1 Limited, Whittals Wines Merchants 2 Limited and EFB Retail Limited," a spokesperson for EFB said in response to the report.
"The deterioration of the high street, combined with the continuing economic uncertainty surrounding the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, has resulted in an unsustainable, tough physical retail market.
"We will endeavour to continue to operate all stores as a going concern while options are assessed for the business, including a possible sale. All businesses continue to trade until further notice."
Oddbins, which has 45 stores in the UK, first collapsed in 2011 after tax authorities rejected a rescue deal with its creditors. ERB made several acquisitions of Oddbins stores at the time, organising them under its Whittalls subsidiary.