Whittall's buys 37 Oddbins shops

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The Independent Online

The administrator of Oddbins, the collapsed off-licence chain, has sold 37 stores to the group behind Whittall's Wine Merchants. Deloitte also said it was "confident of an imminent deal" to sell the remaining 48 Oddbins stores that remain open. The deal secures around 200 jobs.

Oddbins fell into administration after HM Revenue and Customs voted against a controversial insolvency procedure to restructure its debts and ditch under-performing shops.

The off-licences have been sold to European Food Brokers, which trades as Whittall's Wine Merchants. The company is a large independently owned wine retailer. Oddbins owed £8m to HMRC, which accounted for one-third of the chain's debt. First Quench, the owner of the Threshers off-licence chain, collapsed in 2009.