Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail is looking to float on the Alternative Investment Market later this month.

Conviviality Retail, which has retail heavyweights including former Jessops chairman David Adams and ex-Clarks chairman Roger Pedder on its board, has 611 stores owned by 461 franchisees with a strong presence in the Northwest.

The group, which also operates the Thorougoods brand, is looking to raise up to £65m through the float. Major shareholder ECI Partners, which backed a management buyout in 2006, will fully exit the business.

The funds raised will be used to repay the loan notes held by ECI and other shareholders and put the group in a debt-free position.

In the year ending April 30, Conviviality sales reached £372m and adjusted EBITDA hit £12.5m.

It hired former Waitrose convenience boss Diana Hunter as chief executive in February.

Conviviality is looking to extend its store network in the South and up its focus on wine.

Hunter said: “I see a great opportunity to grow this business through uniting and aligning the franchisees with the company, a most powerful force in generating optimal performance. This together with development of our offer and expanding our footprint into unrepresented areas will drive the company’s growth.”

Conviviality believes its Crewe warehouse can service up to 1,200 stores while its Newcastle-under-Lyme distribution centre could serve up to 760 stores, primarily the group’s Select convenience fascias.