The Co-op is understood to have attempted to acquire Costcutter in a continuing effort to consolidate, but saw its bid rejected.
According to Sky News, the Co-op made a £15 million takeover bid for the convenience store chain, which trades from around 1700 stores across the UK, several weeks ago.
But Bibby Line, the firm that owns Costcutter, rejected the potential takeover move with sources stating it would consider bids of at least £50 million, well above Co-op’s attempt.
It is understood that Bibby Line would welcome further talks in future, but for now any takeover discussions were inactive.
This comes amid increasing consolidation in the grocery sector from its biggest players, including Co-op’s recent takeover of Nisa.
Tesco was recently given the green light for its landmark merger with the UK’s wholesaler and convenience store operator Booker, while Sainsbury’s announced a potential merger with Asda following its recent acquisition of Argos and Habitat.
After the collapse of the supply chain giant Palmer & Harvey last year, the Co-op pounced on the opportunity to pen a supply deal with Costcutter.
Costcutter is now already exclusively supplied by Co-op, for which it pays £500 million a year.
The former head of Bibby Line Sir Michael Bibby told Costcutter members last year that a takeover deal was expected soon.