April 5, 2018 / 2:46 PM / 20 days ago

British drinks firm Conviviality enters administration

LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) - British drinks firm Conviviality Plc entered administration on Thursday but said its retail business was not affected and stores would stay open as the firm looks for a buyer for its brands such as Bargain Booze and Wine Rack.

Conviviality warned last week that it was likely to collapse, putting around 2,600 direct jobs at risk.

On Wednesday, thousands of jobs at the business were saved when it sold its wholesale arm to Irish cider maker C&C. The deal with C&C, completed for a nominal fee, will see around 2,000 staff join the Irish firm.

Conviviality is Britain’s largest franchised off-licence and convenience chain, operating more than 700 stores under the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack brands.

A spokesman for administrators PwC said that while the parent company had gone into administration, its retail arm, which employs around 2,000 people once employees of franchised branches are included, had not, and was still trading normally.

The firm said it was continuing to engage with parties interested in its retail business. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison)

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