By James Wells

BRISBANE: The BSL consortium is the favourite in the retail equivalent of the Melbourne Cup which will be decided over the weekend at the School Street head office of BSL in Brisbane.

As late as today, the consortium of 95 retailers led by Everard Johnson was quietly confident of negotiating the purchase of the BSL franchise business which would include the key assets of the Betta Electrical and Chandlers brand names as well as less valuable brands including Billy Guyatts.

“We are at the stage of knocking the gremlins out of the contract,” said Johnson.

“We are very hopeful that we will have something today,” BSL receiver, Phil Carter said this morning prior to meetings involving contractual negotiations with the bidders.

As late as 4.30pm this afternoon, a spokesperson for PricewaterhouseCoopers said that the negotiations are likely to continue over the weekend with a winning bidder announced during business hours on Monday. understands that the consortium of BSL franchisees is most likely to provide the receiver, and consequently the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, with the most money for the franchise assets which are seen as the most important assets to sell in order to allow the flow of rebates and orders to the BSL members nationally.