The administrator for troubled Australasian book retailer REDgroup Retail has sold 10 Whitcoulls stores at airports throughout New Zealand to Australia-based travel specialist LS Travel Retail Pacific for an undisclosed sum.

Five of the stores are at Auckland Airport. The others are at Wellington Airport (two), Christchurch (two) and Rotorua (one).

LS Travel Retail Pacific - formerly known as Lagardere Services Asia Pacific - is a travel retail organisation, with stores at airports and major transport hubs throughout Australia, as well as duty-free operations in Noumea.

The company is part of the global LS Travel Retail group, which operates almost 4000 stores in 20 countries. The NZ stores will "rebadged" under the Relay brand.

Administrator Steve Sherman, of the international insolvency specialists Ferrier Hodgson, said the sale guaranteed the future of the 10 stores and preserved more than 100 jobs.

Sherman said the sale process for REDgroup Retail's New Zealand business was continuing and he expected to have a clearer view of its prospects after the closure of final binding bids later this month.

The REDgroup business in New Zealand now comprises 77 stores - 63 Whitcoulls, five Borders and nine Bennetts stores.

In New Zealand, REDGroup's unsecured New Zealand creditors were owed $21.5 million when the company went into administration on February 17.

New Zealand is fairly new to the voluntary administration process. Before 2007, New Zealand's insolvency regime was limited to receiverships, creditor compromises and liquidations.