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FQR franchisees braced for independence

Published:  19 January, 2010

Most of the 88 franchised stores licensed by First Quench Retailing are expected to continue as independent off-licences, it has been confirmed.

Legal firm Blake Lapthorn, which is acting for almost all FQR franchisees, is hopeful of finalising a deal with administrator KPMG.

It is negotiating a settlement over money owed by the franchisees to FQR, and is also agreeing a figure with property agent Christies for the leases of the shops.

Geoffrey Sturgess, the partner at Blake Lapthorn acting for the franchisees, said: "We now have a very good working relationship with KPMG and whilst things are moving a little slowly for some of our clients, their offer to give the franchisees credits for the unused proportion of their upfront franchise fees is extremely helpful and has been very well received.

"Between them the franchisees will have rescued more FQR stores than anyone else. That is good news for them, for their employees, for their local communities, for the landlords of their stores and for FQR's creditors who will not now be competing with those landlords in the administration.

"I am hopeful that most of the individual transactions will be completed by mid-February."