British convenience retail chain McColl’s has announced its intention to appoint administrators and suspend the listing of its ordinary shares.

The move is expected to put around 16,000 jobs at risk.

McColl’s has an estate of more than 1,100 managed convenience stores under the McColl’s and Morrisons Daily banners.

In a stock exchange announcement, the company said that it had appointed PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) as administrators with hopes to expedite the sale.

McColl’s said: “While the constructive discussions with the company’s key wholesale supplier to find a solution with them to the company’s funding issues and create a stable platform going forward had made significant progress, the lenders made clear that they were not satisfied that such discussions would reach an outcome acceptable to them.

“In order to protect creditors, preserve the future of the business and to protect the interests of employees, the board was regrettably left with no choice other than to place the company in administration, appointing PWC as administrators, in the expectation that they intend to implement a sale of the business to a third-party purchaser as soon as possible.

“Accordingly, the directors of the company and of each of Martin McColl, Clark Retail, Dillons Stores, Smile Stores, Charnwait Management and Martin Retail have resolved to file documents at court today to appoint Mark James Tobias Banfield, Robert Nicholas Lewis and Rachael Maria Wilkinson of PWC as administrators of the company and of the named subsidiaries.”

Following McColl’s announcement, Sky News reported that supermarket chain Morrisons and EG Group had made their final bids for the retailer.

Morrisons’ improved offer to McColl’s lenders would repay the lenders immediately in full, meeting their primary demand.

Sky News said it was ‘unclear’ how the proposal could be rejected or whether EG Group would aim to prevent it proceeding by making a further proposal of its own.