The private-equity owner of Focus is understood to be sounding out other retailers about selling off some of the DIY chain’s stores to fund investment in new store formats.

Focus has invited expressions of interest in a selection of shops, according to The Independent, although at this stage it is still just one option the DIY chain is looking at. Investment bank Lazard has been hired to advise Focus’ owner Cerebus on a range of options for the chain.

Additional funds, thought to be in the region of £40m, are needed to roll out the Genesis format which Focus chairman Bill Grimsey believes will turn around the ailing DIY specialist.

The firm made £11.7m loss for the year to 21 February 2010.

It is thought Cerberus would ideally like to tie up the sale of some stores by the end of the month.