High street retailer The Gadget Shop is thought to be on the brink of administration following a boardroom dispute.
Talks to sell the 65-strong chain of stores collapsed after shareholders who own 40 per cent of the firm refused to back a rescue plan put together by executive chairman Chris Gorman, according to reports yesterday.
It is understood that accountants PKF will be appointed as administrators as early as today.
The Gadget Shop, which has two branches in Birmingham city centre, one at Birmingham International Airport and at the Merry Hill centre, as well as Shrewsbury and Stoke, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Offers for the Hull-based firm are expected to be forthcoming because it has debts of only a few million pounds.
According one report, Mr Gorman has the support of Scottish entrepreneur Tom Hunter who is worth an estimated £500 million. The pair have a combined shareholding of 50 per cent of the Gadget Shop.
But their vision for the company is believed to be opposed by Freeserve founder Peter Wilkinson and trader John Wood who own 40 per cent of the group.
The remaining ten per cent of shares is held by Jonathan Elvidge, the chief executive and founder of the Gadget Shop in 1991, who is under-stood to support Mr Gorman.
Mr Gorman said the group was about to placed into administration.
He said: "We did have a buyer. Fifty per cent of the shareholders wanted to sell, the other 40 per cent did not.
"We have no option but to put the business into administration."