Poundworld’s talks with Alteri Investors have ended at the eleventh hour, casting fresh doubt over the survival of the beleaguered value chain.

Alteri, which is backed by private equity titan Apollo and specialises in rescue deals for struggling retail firms, pulled out of its prospective bid for the value retailer this week, according to Sky News.

The private equity firm’s withdrawal comes days after its prospective bid to take over the chain for a nominal sum, alongside a CVA which would have axed around 100 Poundworld shops and 1,500 staff, was revealed.

Poundworld’s parent company TPG is understood to want to offload the firm without funding its CVA process, which would leave the retailer with approximately 250 shops and 4,000 employees.

Retail Week, which revealed founder Chris Edwards’ interest in buying back the value retailer last month, understands there are still prospective bidders for Poundworld.

However, if a solvent sale of the value retailer cannot be agreed, it is possible that the firm will be sold through a pre-pack administration.

TPG Capital, which bought the retailer from Edwards in 2015, put Poundworld up for sale last month, with talks being led by Deloitte.