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Focus DIY sells six stores to Asda

The troubled DIY chain Focus has offloaded six stores to the supermarket group Asda for an undisclosed sum. Focus, which narrowly avoided collapse in 2009, said the stores are in Aberystwyth, Clevedon, Gillingham, Stamford, Torquay and Woking.

The 180-store DIY retailer, which is burdened by loans of about £230m, needs fresh funds to invest in its new store format that has so far yielded promising results. Last week, Bill Grimsey, the chairman of Focus, said: "If there are selected assets that can be disposed of to create funds for future investment in the new stores that would be considered. And we are in discussions with many retailers including the big four supermarkets."