Woolworths has announced it is selling up to nine of its stores to Tesco. Sir Alan Sugar is also understood to have acquired a near 4% stake in the business.
The disposals will occur on a lease by lease basis over the next six months, generating the group a profit of about £7 million. The retailer has not revealed the locations of the stores.
The deal is evidence of investors being able to pick up bargain stakes in UK companies, following weeks of turmoil in the stock markets which has seen billions of pounds wiped off the value of listed companies.
Shares in Woolworths have fallen more than 80% over the last year. They closed up 5% yesterday at 3.14p, having fallen sharply on reports that credit insurers were refusing to provide cover for suppliers.