Officers Club outbid by mystery Citterio suitor

Menswear retailer Ciro Citterio is likely to be sold to a consortium this week for approximately£3 million, after a deal proposed by Officers Club fell through.

'Things are at a very advanced stage and should be concluded quickly,' said one source close to Ciro.

Officers Club was due to buy Ciro last week and would have converted the stores over time to its own fascia. Officers Club chairman Dave Charlton was disappointed his plans had failed. 'We were trying to buy Ciro Citterio, but were told they had got a better offer,' he said.

Ciro was placed into administration in 2001, after a share dispute between the owners. Three directors from that period were last month banned from holding directorships for a total of 23 years.

Trident Fashions then bought Ciro in 2001, but the business was put up for sale in July by Deloitte & Touche, which confirmed a second administration is possible.

'Everyone knows it's a loss making business. There is another option, which is administration, but we're not looking at that, we are looking at selling the business,' said Deloitte & Touche Corporate Finance assistant director Adrian Richmond.

Richmond confirmed sale talks were well advanced. Speculation centres on a sale to overseas buyers, although a number of UK businesses were understood to have been interested.