Poundworld is poised to announce its intention to appoint administrators, putting around 5,300 jobs at risk, according to the Press Association.
The budget retailer, which employs around 5,300 people, is low on cash and is filing the notice because it will give the business protection from its creditors for two weeks.
Sources told PA that the notice will give Poundworld time to structure a deal, which could be undertaken through a pre-pack administration, with private equity firm R Capital, former owner of Little Chef.
The administration will be handled by Poundworld’s advisers Deloitte.
Poundworld, which is owned by TPG Captial, had previously rejected offers to sell through a pre-pack but all options are now being considered.
Management has so far failed to sell the retailer as a solvent business, after turnaround specialists Alteri Investors walked away from sales talks this week.
Poundworld's losses in 2016-17, up from losses of £5.4m the year before
Deloitte has been preparing contingency plans for an administration in the event of talks collapsing.
Poundworld’s losses widened in 2016-17 to £17.1 million, from £5.4 million of losses the year before.
The retailer was hit with a £5.7 million charge for onerous leases, a provision retailers make when the cost of a lease is no longer covered by the income of the store.