Business advisers to the stricken Top 50 Indie High Noon Stores are trying to find buyers for the company’s assets, but have said reports that the company has gone into administration are not strictly accurate.

Greg Palfrey, head of restructuring and recovering and partner at Smith & Williamson, said the retailer had applied for a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

This provides a moratorium, preventing any legal action against the company, initially limited to 10 working days.

The South Wales convenience store chain and forecourt operator had 15 sites including 10 forecourts and was ranked 32nd in last year’s Top 50 Indies.

Palfrey said the company had run out of cash over the new year period and had therefore had to stop trading.

He was now working with the directors to find a buyer for the assets of the company to try to save as many jobs and as much of the business as possible.

He said there was big demand for both petrol forecourts and convenience stores and there had been considerable interest from potential buyers, but it was too early to say whether it would be sold as a single entity or broken up.

Local newspaper reports said the company’s stores had closed suddenly on December 30.

They quoted customers as saying the store and forecourt at Whitemill on the A40 had stopped selling fuel a couple of weeks earlier, and that it had closed a few times at very short notice because of a problem with the power supply.

Pictures that were published showed hand written notices in the doors saying “we are closed until further notice”.