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Whittalls Wine Merchants acquires 37 Oddbins stores

Published:  26 April, 2011

Whittalls Wine Merchants, a subsidiary of EFB Retail, claims it has agreed to buy 37 Oddbins stores from its administrators.

The move, according to the company, which is a subsidiary of EFB Retail, will safeguard 200 jobs across the Oddbins chain.

In a statement it said: "Whittalls Wine Merchants, the largest family owned independent alcohol retailer in the UK, is pleased to announce that late on 25 April 2011 it reached an agreement with Lee Antony Manning and Matthew David Smith as joint administrators of Oddbins Limited to purchase the trade and assets of 37 stores.

"This acquisition adds to the earlier purchase of the Wine Cellar estate in November 2009, with the added benefit of entering the new and exciting trading areas of Scotland and London."

In its statement it quotes Raj Chatha, owner of EFG Group saying: "This acquisition has saved more than 200 in store jobs. We are pleased to welcome Oddbins colleagues to the EFB Group and team. The addition to our retail estate means we can truly call ourselves a national player. This represents a new dawn for these Oddbins stores, and with the well reported financial shackles removed, it will allow for a consistent supply of stock and investment at store level for the benefit of all, most importantly its loyal staff and consumer base.

"Our focus over the coming weeks and months will be to replenish the stores with an exciting range at competitive prices. I am also delighted with the number of jobs we have managed to save."