BWG, the company which owns the Spar and Mace retail franchises in the Republic, has sold its UK chain of off-licences to a management team backed by private equity firm ECI Partners.

Bargain Booze has been bought by managing directors Tim Stanley and Matthew Hughes, along with finance director Peter Hodgson, for £63.5m.

The management team today pledged to open a new store every week. They are keen to grow Bargain Booze from its current network of 560 stores so that it can challenge market leader Threshers.

Bargain Booze was put up for sale in March last year when BWG signalled its intention to focus on its food distribution and retailing business.