Kingfisher is to buy 31 Focus DIY stores from administrator Ernst & Young.

The DIY giant paid £23m for the leasehold properties which it will refit and open as B&Q stores later this year.

This morning’s Retail Week predicted that Kingfisher would take between 20-30 stores after Focus went into administration on Thursday.

Kingfisher group chief executive Ian Cheshire said: “This is a good opportunity for us to accelerate our previously announced plans to expand B&Q into carefully targeted UK locations where we currently have no store representation. This will bring better choice and lower prices to customers and provide secure jobs and career prospects in these local communities.”

Ernst & Young joint administrator Simon Allport said: “This deal represents an exceptional outcome for creditors of Focus Group DIY. The Joint Administrators will continue to trade all of the Group’s stores and will seek further offers for a going concern sale of the Group’s business and assets.”

Other retailers including Homebase and Asda are also thought to be eyeing up the remaining stores of Focus which fell into administration on Wednesday, exclusively revealed by Retail Week.