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McColl’s warns it was on the brink of collapse into administration

Thousands of jobs are at risk after McColl’s warned it was on the brink of collapse.

The convenience store chain, which operates 1,100 stores and employs 16,000 staff, has been in negotiations with lenders for months over a £97million debt pile it cannot afford to service.

We’ve been told that by the end of May, the Tolpits Lane store will be converted to a Morrisons.

It warned last month any refinancing package would likely wipe out shareholders and said this week it may be suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Its shares have fallen 96.7 per cent this year, shedding another 7.7 per cent, or 0.1p, to 1.15p yesterday.

McColl’s said it was ‘increasingly likely’ it will collapse into administration, with the hope of finding a buyer to avoid a wave of layoffs. The business has been seeking a buyer for weeks.

Its collapse could spark renewed interest from the Issa family, which owns Asda and the EG petrol forecourt group. Mohsin and Zuber Issa made a previous takeover approach for the chain but pulled out.

And McColl’s supplier Morrisons, which has converted 254 of its stores into Morrisons Daily formats, is the main potential buyer for part or all of the business.

Retail sources told Sky News some form of insolvency proceedings was more likely than not.

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