Retail corporate financier and private equity firm Argyll Partners’ investment in Woolworth Deutschland has turned sour as the German retailer plunged into administration.

Argyll, one of the best known retail finance boutiques, bought into Woolworth Deutschland 18 months ago but the store group was hit by poor Christmas trading, competition from discounters and poor liquidity. About 11,000 jobs are now at risk.

Argyll has been involved in many high profile and successful retail deals such as the £140m sale of Rubicon Retail, but has also had previous failures.

Partners at Argyll, founded by Chris Steed, backed the buyout of entertainment chain MVC from Woolworths in the UK in 2005 but the business went into administration within less than a year.

Woolworth Deutschland has no connection to Woolworths in the UK.