The retail group, Coles Myer, has acquired the New South Wales stores of the Theo's liquor store chain. The giant retail group had been linked with the acquisition of the Theo's businesses in both NSW and Queensland, for an estimated price tag of A$300m.

However, the group is still thought to be in negotiations to acquire the Theo's business in Queensland but the total purchase price is now expected to be considerably less than the A$300m first quoted.

Coles Myer has so far bought the 49 retail outlets and four hotels operated by Theo's in New South Wales with combined sales of A$175m.

"I think most people who understand the brand and what Theo has been building, clearly understand the lion's share of this business is NSW-based," said Coles Myer CEO, John Fletcher. "Had it been the entire business, the A$300m number is still a fair bit higher than where we could have ended up if both were included. The bulk of the business is NSW-based but I would have to say a lot of the opportunities are in Queensland."

The acquisition gives Coles Myer some 591 liquor outlets nationwide. But the deal is still subject to approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), whose chairman Professor Allan Fels has already expressed concern about the increasing concentration in liquor retailing sector.