Bargain Booze owner Conviviality could face administration after failing to secure the emergency funding.
The firm, which is also a major supplier to chains such as Wetherspoons, has suffered a string of profit warnings in recent weeks, and revealed a £30m tax bill.
It sought £125m of investors, but said that he had been unable to raise money.
You are now looking at other options, including a “potential sale of all or part of the company”.
If an error occurs in the company, which employs 2,500 staff, is unlikely to be able to continue the negotiation.
A statement of Convivialty read: “Despite a significant number of meetings with potential investors resulting in good levels of demand… was not in the last instance, a demand insufficient to raise the total of £125m.
“The board wants to thank our customers, suppliers and employees for their continued support during this difficult period for the company.
“The company is in talks with its lending banks and advisors with respect to other possible options, and is in receipt of a number of input query with respect to a potential sale of all or part of the company.”
It is understood accounting giant PwC lined up as administrator if a buyer was not found.
Conviviality – which also owns Wine Rack – supplies of more than 25,000 restaurants, hotels and bars, more than 700 points of sale franchised, and more than 400 independent specialists.
It also caters to festivals and events, as well as in the major supermarkets.
The firm shares have been suspended from their unexpected tax bill, due to be paid by the end of March, to the left are low in the short-term funding.
Last week, the chief executive Diana Hunter left with “immediate effect”, with a non-executive chairman, David Adams, enter at the breach until further notice.