Britain’s biggest retailers have set their sights on operators within the fast-growing convenience store sector after Tesco (TSCO.L) agreed to buy Booker BOK.L for 3.7 billion pounds ($4.8 billion).
Sainsbury’s, the country’s second largest supermarket, said on Aug. 15 it had suspended bid talks with Nisa until the regulator gave its verdict on the Tesco-Booker deal, leaving the door open to the Co-op.
In a letter to shareholders, Nisa said it had granted the Co-op a period of exclusive access to its books from Wednesday.
“Thereafter, and subject to the results of the due diligence, it is anticipated that the Co-op could be in a position to make a final offer to the members for your consideration,” Nisa Chairman Peter Hartley said.
Nisa’s members operate almost 2,500 retail stores around the country.
($1 = 0.7735 pounds)
Reporting by Fanny Potkin