The Group makes a re-entry after Sainsbury’s paused its own bid
Merely two weeks after rival J Sainsbury paused its own bid owing to competition concerns, The Co-operative Group has entered exclusive talks in becoming the favourite to buy UK convenience store chain Nisa.
A revised offer of up to £140m was offered by The mutual, which had previously bid for Nisa, after Sainsbury’s said it wanted to wait for a ruling by UK competition regulators on a similar tie-up between rival Tesco and Booker.
It would be the first big acquisition, if The Co-op is successful, since its near collapse in 2013. £117m was raised by The Co-op, selling 298 stores to McColl’s and is now making an operating profit.
“We can confirm that we’ve entered into a period of exclusivity with Nisa, which will provide the opportunity for us to carry out more detailed due diligence in the coming weeks. Following this period and subject to approval from our board, we hope to be in position where we can put forward an offer to Nisa members,” said The Co-op group.
Compared with Sainsbury’s 16 per cent, The Co-op has 6.1 per cent of the UK grocery market, but with 3,000 food stores against Sainsbury’s 2,000, competition issues still existed. PWKD04092017
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