A team from West Midlands law firm FBC Manby Bowdler has advised on a deal for a local retail chain to buy more than a dozen off-licences from the collapsed First Quench group.
Dudley-based discount chain Dave’s Discount Stores has bought 14 former Thresher and Wine Rack stores from the national company, which went into administration at the end of October.
Dave’s, which already has a number of retail outlets in the Midlands, acquired the units from administrators KPMG, and said it would be keeping the outlets open to protect the jobs of the former First Quench employees.
The new stores it has purchased are spread across the Midlands and South-East.
The legal side of the acquisition was led by FBC Manby Bowdler corporate partner Kam Johal, along with commercial property partner Andrew Wynne and solicitor Rebecca Taylor, employment partner Tracy Worthington and associate Pete Collins, and licensing associate David Campbell.
They advised Dave’s Discount Stores on the acquisition of the business goodwill, on the acquisition of all the premises, a combination of freeholds, long leaseholds and leases, and on all licensing issues.
Gavin Southall, the senior partner of FBC Manby Bowdler, said: “This acquisition has proved to be a great opportunity for Dave’s Discount Stores to grow its turnover and expand its successful business model to new outlets.”
Ms Johal added: “As usual it was a race against time as the outlets were still trading and we needed to ensure that the goodwill was preserved. However, thanks to the size and strength of our firm, we were able to put together a team quickly and they worked speedily to get the deal done.”
More than 1,700 workers were expected to lose their jobs after First Quench announced the closure of 373 stores when it went into administration earlier this year.
First Quench, which also trades as Wine Rack, The Local, Haddows, Bottoms Up and Victoria Wine, got into difficulties after struggling to keep sales up during the recession.
But while many of the stores fell victim to closure, some have been bought piecemeal by local retail chains.
As well as the Dave’s purchase, London-based Venus Wine & Spirit Merchants bought 13 shops out of administration, along with the Wine Rack trading name.
A new company called LCL Enterprises, which will trade as Wine Rack, has been set up to run the businesses and the new brand.
The most recent property deal at West Midlands and Shropshire-based FBC was when the team advised on the relocation of Wolverhampton’s famous Little Civic entertainment venue.
Associate Matthew Lloyd advised owners the Gill Family on the move from it’s old North Street home, which was completed about a fortnight ago.