Troubled grocery chain Kwik Save closed another 22 stores yesterday as it sought to postpone a court hearing that will decide the business’s future. The Times

Kwik Save had until today to raise new finance after lodging a notice of intention to file for administration at the courts in Manchester a fortnight ago.

The company’s backer, Brendan Murtagh, wants to rebrand the chain as Freshxpress. Yesterday he was thought to be close to securing a rescue deal that would involve a 'prepack' administration whereby Murtagh has agreed to immeditately buy the profitable core of the business from administrators.

In the past few weeks the chain has closed 79 stores and reopened 20. It now has 145 stores.