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Deadline day for First Quench bids

Published:  13 November, 2009

Bakery chain Greggs is thought to be among the bidders for parts of the First Quench estate in time for today's deadline for initial expressions of interest.

The retailer is said to be interested in around 100 of the 1,200 branches put on the market by administrator KPMG.

Other names expected to be in the bidding include Rhythm & Booze, Costcutter, Raj Chatha's EFB group - which recently took on a number of former Wine Cellar branches - and possibly Bargain Booze, which may make an offer for the franchised part of the business.

KPMG is hoping to sell the entire estate as a going concern, but this may prove difficult since First Quench owned no freeholds and the shops are beset by stock difficulties.

Private equity groups are said to have expressed initial interest but there is also interest in individual stores from independent operators.