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McColl's bids for 300-store Co-op estate

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Convenience store chain McColl's has revealed its intention to bid for 300 Co-op stores that the mutual has decided to offload.

Rothschild investment bank who is handling the auction noted that McColl's along with several other investors have expressed their interest in the Co-op portfolio, according to Sky News.  

While the timing and terms of the potential sale are still unclear, the possible acquisition would be the convenience store's biggest purchase yet. McColl's currently owns 930 own-branded UK stores and 434 newsagents trading under the Martin's name.

After seeing profits fall last year and taking a significant pay cut, the Co-op's Chief Executive has signalled that he plans to dispose of 300 of its 700 'non-convenience' estate.

The sale of 300 stores, which represents 10% of its 3000-strong estate comes as the mutual attempts to restructure its business after losing £2.5bn in 2013, largely due to a predicament with its banking division.

A source close to the Co-op confirmed that the possible sale does not deter from its plans to open 100 new store and refit 150 additional sites this year with its back to the future brand overhaul.  

However, the Co-op could also decide not to sell the stores, altogether, a source added.

Published on Friday 10 June by Talya Misiri

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