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Oddbins to go into administration

Monday April 4th 2011

Struggling wine retailer Oddbins has said a refusal by the Government's tax department to back a potential rescue deal will see it slide into administration.

The off-licence had hoped to strike a deal with its creditors through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

But HM Revenue & Customs would not support the move.

The decision is now likely to spark fears among the 400-strong staff at the company over their future, and could prompt some to check out the details of their Income Protection policy or Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance.

The company is expected to enter administration on April 4.

The retailer, which recently shut nearly 40 stores, is the latest victim of a suffering independent wine trade in the UK, which has seen Threshers' owner First Quench Retailing collapse in 2009 and the Unwins chain fold in 2005.

Oddbins, which has 89 stores left in the UK, has been under pressure amid competition from supermarket chains and falling consumer confidence.

It is understood HMRC was owed £8 million by Oddbins, accounting for around 30% of the retailer's debt.

The company said a "significant" majority of creditors clearly wanted Oddbins to continue trading, but HMRC's vote was heavily weighted and tipped the outcome. The company needed 75% of creditors to back the deal.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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