Sale of Conviviality's retail division is completed

Thousands jobs have been saved in the £7 million sale of Conviviality's retail division to the food wholesaler Bestway.

Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said the deal - which sees Bestway take control of Bargain Booze, Wine Rack, Select Convenience and WS Retail - was completed on Friday at 11.56pm.

Joint administrator Matthew Callaghan, partner at PwC, said: "This deal safeguards the jobs of more than 2,000 employees, ensures franchisees have the ability to continue to trade and creates some much-needed stability for business customers and the sector in general.

"Alongside the sale of Conviviality's Direct business earlier this week, the total number of staff whose jobs have been protected stands at more than 4,000."

Conviviality confirmed its intention to appoint administrators last week after a string of profit warnings and the discovery of a £30 million tax bill, putting over 2,600 jobs at risk.

Bargain Booze has 452 UK outlets in its national chain of primarily franchised off-licences while the drinks-led Select Convenience shop has 197 UK stores.

Wine Rack has 31 outlets which are largely-based in London and the South East.

WS Retail, which trades as Central Convenience Stores, is a chain in the South West of England with 127 outlets.