Oddbins owner facing uncertain future, say reports
The owner of one of the best known UK wine retailers, Oddbins, has reportedly appointed a financial advisory firm to help it with next steps – including a possible fall into administration.
Oddbins owner European Food Brokers (EFB) has appointed financial advisory firm Duff & Phelps to advise it on a way forward.
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One possibility was thought to be administration; a move that would draw comparisons with the collapse of the Oddbins chain in 2011.
A spokesperson for EFB told Sky News last night (28 January) that the company had ‘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’.
However, the spokesperson said that all businesses continued to trade as normal and that the company would attempt to run all of its businesses as going concerns as it worked through possible solutions – including a possible sale.
EFB has owned Oddbins since the chain’s collapse in 2011. EFB subsidiary Whittalls Wine Merchants bought several Oddbins stores from administrators.
A series of pressures, including sterling currency weakness, stagnating consumption and greater competition from discount chains Aldi and Lidl, has exacerbated the challenges of operating in the UK wine retail market in recent years.