Nisa has brought in bankers from Lazard to explore a possible sale, threatening to “demutualise” the member-owned convenience giant.
According to Sky News, Nisa’s board has drafted in experts to analyse the benefits of bringing in external investment.
The retailer is currently owned by its 1400 members who own up to 250 shares each, which gives them the ability to vote on issues like board members’ appointments.
Although the process is said to be in very early stages and it is not yet clear how a sales process would work, one source close to the issue said it could be “akin to a demutualisation”.
This comes as Nisa, which boasts an estate of roughly 3500 stores across the UK, confirms a refinancing deal worth £120 million.
Chief executive Nick Read has led a successful turnaround effort at the retailer, aiming to grow sales to £2 billion by 2019, from £1.3 billion last year.
This could mark another significant shift in the convenience and grocery markets, as the looming merger between the UK’s biggest supermarket Tesco and the UK’s biggest supplier Booker is set to fundamentally alter the sector.