Sainsbury's share price: Group closes in on Nisa takeover

Gladys Abbott
June 19, 2017

More than 1,300 independent retailers operate 3,000 convenience stores across the country as part of the mutual organisation, some under their own names and others under Nisa branding.

Nisa has been working with investment bank Lazard on a sale process and is thought to have received interest from several prospective buyers, including the Co-Op.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Sainsbury's was understood to have won a bidding war with the Co-operative Group for member-owned Nisa, which has 2,900 stores and £1.3 billion in sales.

Insiders told the newspaper that the mutual's board had decided to make Sainsbury's the preferred bidder at the end of last week, even though Co-op had matched and then offered to beat its rival "significantly".

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Shares in Sainsbury's were 2.3% higher at 258.1p in morning trading, taking it to the top of the FTSE 100. However, there are signs that the deal could face objections from Nisa members, which include the McColl's convenience group.

"Sainsbury's move into convenience shows the brand's determination to remain a key player in the market".

In April, Nisa chief Nick Read warned of the threat posed by Tesco's purchase of Booker as it would increase the latter's buying power.

Meanwhile, the proposed Tesco-Booker merger is now under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority.

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