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New deal could pull Oddbins out of administration

Published:  24 June, 2019

Oddbins could be bought back by its former owner European Food Brokers four months after it went into administration.

European Food Brokers’ owner Raj Chatta is reported to be in “advanced talks” with administrators Duff & Phelps to take back control of most of the business.

Some stores would be sold as part of the deal to “help stabilise the wine merchant’s financial future”, according to the Press Association.

Duff & Phelps has continued to trade the Oddbins, Wine Cellar and Whittards Wine Merchants stores, although it is understood it has closed 13 of the 101 stores.

Walsall-based European Food Brokers acquired Oddbins out of administration in 2011, but was forced to put the business into administration in February this year.

The collapse, which comes amid a turbulent period for alcohol retailers, was blamed on rising rents and rates and a slowdown in consumer spending.

At the time Phil Duffy said: "The continued decline in consumer spending, pointing to a squeeze on household finances, combined with rising living and national wages have put increased pressure on retailers' bottom lines.

"As wages struggle to keep up with the pace of inflation, and continued, deepening unease and uncertainty over Brexit, means consumers are cutting back on spending. 

"Add into that mix rising business rates and rents, and traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers are undoubtedly feeling the strain."

Oddbins was founded by entrepreneur Ahmed Pochee in 1963, after starting the business by delivering wine to clubs and restaurants in the capital.