Focus DIY’s owner has entered into exclusive talks with restructuring firm GA Europe about buying the business, but if talks are unsuccessful the retailer could collapse, it is understood.

Cerberus is thrashing out details with GA Europe today, and a deal must be done by 5pm or Focus faces administration, with Ernst & Young understood to be waiting in the wings, sources told Retail Week.

Focus has been in discussions with its banks Lloyds and GMAC about its lending arrangements in recent weeks.

Its lenders agreed to a new facility in 2009 after the retailer successfully achieved a lifesaving CVA, led by chairman Bill Grimsey.

Retail Week revealed in November that Cerberus was considering its options for Focus, and that restructuring firms including GA Capital were eyeing the business.

GA declined to comment. Focus could not be reached.

Ernst & Young declined to comment.