Only a portion of the £50m refinancing package has been paid
Only£15 million of a£50 million refinancing package announced three weeks ago has been paid to beleaguered discount chain Kwik Save.

Sources close to the situation said that Brendan Murtagh, the Irish property tycoon behind the refinancing package, had only paid£15 million so far. Murtagh could not be reached for comment.

It is not clear whether the intention is to pay the remaining£35 million in cash to address its operating problems, such as a chronic availability problem, or to use it to pay off the company's debts.

Somerfield - which sold the chain in February last year to a consortium of private investors - is thought to have provisionally agreed with Kwik Save that it would write-off some of the more than£20 million it is owed, as part of the deal.

Former managing director Paul Niklas rejoined last month as chief executive and chairman and is leading the refinancing deal.

Kwik Save declined to comment, but said it would be issuing a 'positive statement about driving the business forward' after Retail Week went to press.

Kwik Save has been involved in court hearings over the past week in Liverpool and Manchester, but an application to place the chain into administration was withdrawn on Wednesday.

Last week, some Kwik Save staff were not paid, which the supermarket blamed on a administrative error. However, the discount chain stressed all employees had been paid at the start of this week.

Kwik Save has suffered from stock shortages, demoralised staff and payment problems with suppliers since late last year.

It is understood that Niklas would like to offload a number of stores to other retailers, leaving it with less than 200 outlets.