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UK: First Quench split on the cards

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Administrators for First Quench Retailing, the collapsed owner of Threshers off-licences, believe it is likely the business will be broken up.

In an interview on the BBC News channel, lead administrator Richard Fleming said that he was hopeful of "one big buyer" who could come in and take more than 100 of the retail group's 1,200 stores.

Fleming is head of restructuring at KPMG, which was appointed as administrator group for First Quench last Thursday night, following the group's collapse.

Other outlets are likely to be split up across several different buyers, some from within the trade, said Fleming, adding that KPMG has received strong interest in the First Quench stores.

It remains unclear how many stores will have to close, but KPMG said in statement on Friday that some closures were inevitable, despite attempts to sell the business as a going concern.

The most up-to-date First Quench accounts, obtained by just-drinks, show that the business has been struggling for more than a year in a tough UK off-licence sector.


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