First Quench administrator KPMG is offering the majority of the Threshers franchisees the chance to negotiate directly with landlords for new leases on their shops.

KPMG did not consider it economically viable to accept offers from franchisees that were lower than the asking price of £10,000 per store.

Lawyer Blake Lapthorn, which has represented the franchisees collectively, is now acting for franchisees individually on the property transactions.

Blake Lapthorn solicitor Geoffrey Sturgess said: “We view KPMG’s decision to surrender the headleases as being a sensible method of ‘rescuing’ stores.  Landlords should be delighted at the opportunity of having a solvent tenant again. Their staff and customers should be relieved that their stores are now most likely to survive.”

KPMG said in December that the collective bid by the franchisees was rejected as it was considered too low. KPMG offered the headlease at each franchise store for £10,000. Blake Lapthorn said many franchisees offered to acquire the headlease for less than the asking price.

Franchisees taking their stores independent will need to rebrand.