Sunday 23 October 2016

Musgrave, owner of SuperValu, sells British business for €57m reporters

Published 21/05/2015 | 07:30

Chris Martin, chief executive officer at the Musgrave Group
Chris Martin, chief executive officer at the Musgrave Group

Irish retail giant Musgrave has sold its operations in Britain to a rival firm for €57m, it announced this morning.

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The Cork-based company’s British business operated the the Budgens and Londis brands, which combined have almost 1,800 stores across the UK. It is being sold on a cash free-debt free basis to UK wholesale giant Booker, and completion of the transaction is subject to approval  from the Competition and Markets Authority.

Musgrave's British business had sales of £833m last year and made a loss of £7.4m before exceptional items.

CEO of Musgrave Group Chris Martin said that the British grocery market is experiencing a “fundamental and permanent structural change, with intense competition and a deflationary environment”.

“Given these challenging market dynamics, we carefully evaluated all of the possible options for our GB business. Having received a proposal from Booker, we concluded that a sale to Booker is the right thing for the group and would be the most advantageous outcome for our retailers, colleagues and suppliers in Great Britain,” he said.

He added: “Musgrave GB has been a loss-making business and while the decision to sell Budgens and Londis is difficult, it will allow the group to drive forward with its growth strategy which is about developing our market-leading retail, convenience and cash and carry brands in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Spain.”

Mr Martin also said that the company is now developing a strategic partnership with Booker where the two companies will look to collaborate on store formats, digital innovation and to achieve cost savings and efficiencies for the business.

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