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Threshers owner 'discussing administration'

Published:  29 October, 2009

First Quench is facing a new crisis after reports emerged that the off-licence chain could be on the verge of going into administration.

The business, which operates around 1,300 shops under the Threshers, Wine Rack, Haddows and Local fascias, is thought to be in urgent talks with KPMG and is considering a range of options for the future of the estate.

Two of the possibilities are a pre-pack administration or a sell-off of some or all of the business. There has been speculation for some time that the business's owner, Vision Capital, may find it easier to identify a purchaser for the Wine Rack segment of the company than the estate in its entirety.

A FQR spokeswoman said: "The board of FQR notes recent media speculation about the future of the company. It is no secret that the credit crunch has made a very competitive marketplace even more challenging. The board, in consultation with its advisers, has been actively considering a number of restructuring and strategic options for FQR, and any decision will be made in the best interests of the business and its stakeholders."

The company employs around 6,500 people and reported a pre-tax loss of £30 million for the 12 months to June 28 2008.