Shoosmiths advises on Oddbins deal

The national law firm's real estate team based in Manchester is celebrating its first deal after advising EFB Retail on the purchase of 37 Oddbins stores.

Vaqas Farooq, a partner and real estate lawyer at Shoosmiths, advised EFB Retail as its Whittalls Wine Merchants subsidiary bought the high street wine merchant's outlets for an undisclosed price.

More than 200 jobs have been saved at the stores, which are primarily in London and Scotland, with one in Chorlton, Manchester, and one at Allerton Road in Mossley Hill, south Liverpool.

Farooq said: "EFB was already the largest family owned independent alcohol retailer in the UK, and when Oddbins went into administration, in March, it saw an opportunity to add to its real estate.

"Not only that, but in agreeing with the joint administrators to purchase the assets of 37 Oddbins stores, Whittalls Wine Merchants has become a national player, adding new trading areas, namely London and Scotland."

Farooq was supported by Shoosmiths' Manchester corporate team, led by partner Mark Dawson and associate Charles Williams and solicitor Aaron Harlow, both members of the firm's national insolvency team.

Farooq said EFB now plans to restock the stores with "an exciting range at competitive prices".

Consultancy firm Deloitte was brought in as administrators of Oddbins, which had 85 stores in total across the UK.

The remaining 48 Oddbins stores are still open and in the hands of Deloitte.

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