The administrator of ailing retailer Wilko has given interested parties until Wednesday to put forward any initial rescue bids.
PwC, which was appointed as administrator by the discount retailer last week, is seeking offers by the middle of the week as Wilko continues to run out of cash, Sky News has reported.
The fates of over 400 stores and 12,000 jobs are currently at risk.
A number of retailers and investors are said to be interested, although the chances of a complete takeover appear unlikely. The owner of Laura Ashley, Gordon Brothers, was reported as one of the parties that was interested in a bid for the retailer.
Family-owned Wilko had been working with PwC for many months in search of new investment, and had been looking to finalise a Company Voluntary Agreement to allow it to cut its rents at a number of its stores.
Last week, Wilko chef executive Mark Jackson said the retailer’s management had left “no stone unturned” in its efforts to rescue the business.
As recently as late July, a spokesperson for Wilko had dismissed talks of administration as “unfounded”.