Midlands-based EFB Retail Ltd has acquired 109 stores from Wine Cellar Stores, the national c-store and off licence chain which went into administration earlier this month.

The stores, currently trading under the Booze Buster, Simply Drinks and Simply Food & Drinks fascias, will join EFB's exisiting 20-strong portfolio of Shop2Go, Drink2Go and Whittalls Wines outlets.

However, a further 61 Wine Cellar stores will close, with the loss of around 320 jobs.

Nisa member EFB said it had secured the jobs of around 700 members of staff at the 109 stores and Wine Cellar's head office in Runcorn, Cheshire, and estimated the purchase would add over £50m to its turnover.

"The opportunity to purchase a significant proportion of the Wine Cellar Stores portfolio of retail businesses proved too tempting to pass up," said Raj Chatha, chief executive of EFB Group.

In its accounts for the year to January 2008, Wine Cellar Group reported pre-tax losses of almost £1m.

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