Thursday 12 December 2019

Sold! Irish retail group Musgrave buys Superquinn reporters

The family-owned Irish retail group Musgrave has bought Superquinn, less than 24 hours after the supermarket chain was put into receivership.

The deal, for an as yet undisclosed amount, was announced this morning, securing the jobs of 2,800 Superquinn workers, who will transfer to the new company under their existing terms of employment.

The receivers, KPMG, have said that the business will trade as normal pending the completion of the sale, which is subject to approval from the Competition Authority.

The Musgrave Group owns the Centra and Supervalu supermarket chains, which account for just under 24pc of the Irish supermarket share. Superquinn has 6.4pc share.

If the deal is allowed to go through, Musgrave would overtake Tesco as the biggest retailer in the supermarket sector.

While the deal has been cautiously welcomed by the Mandate trade union, the Irish Farmers Association has warned that the consolidation of the supermarket sector could adversely affect producers and consumers.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland this morning, IFA President John Brien expressed concern that producers would be squeezed for lower prices as a result.

"With the three major players [Musgrave, Tesco and Dunnes] having more and more power, they will naturally put more pressure on primary producers. We need a code of conduct for retailers otherwise these three dominant players will control the market to the point that producers will be put under pressure and the consumer will continue to be ripped off."

Commenting on the sale, Musgarve chief executive Chris Martin said: “Having come to this agreement with the joint receivers, we are excited by this opportunity. Purchasing Superquinn, when approved, supports our growth agenda and will sustain our competitiveness. We are looking forward to working with the Superquinn team to develop the future of the business.”

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