DIY group Focus is to sell 41 stores for a total of £68 million as it undergoes a restructure, following its acquisition in July by investment firm Cerberus.

Contracts have been exchanged on the properties, 13 of which were in a group of 52 stores previously earmarked for disposal, but the deals remain conditional on planning and other consents.

Home Retail Group is paying£40 million for 27 of the properties, which will be converted to its Homebase fascia in time for the peak spring trading period. It is understood that DIY retailer Wickes, owned by Travis Perkins, has taken seven of the Focus stores.

Focus, which had struggled under massive debts prior to its purchase by Cerberus, now has “the right platform to drive profit and change through investment and innovation”, said chief executive Bill Grimsey.

He said: “For the first time, Focus will have the ability to concentrate on the profitable core of well-located stores and begin its journey of developing a differentiated proposition. We will continue to invest in new and better located sites.”