Nisa Retail, the delivered wholesaler and convenience retail group, today (November 13) announced that its members have voted significantly in favour of the Co-op Group’s offer to buy 100% of the business for up to £137.5m.
At the Court Meeting of the members held at Elland Road, Leeds, earlier today members voted 75.79% in favour and 24.21% against the Co-op’s offer. The offer requires clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority, which is expected around the end of March next year.
Nisa chairman Peter Hartley said: “We are delighted that our members have chosen in such significant numbers to vote in favour of Co-op’s offer. We as a Board are firm in our belief that a combination with the Co-op is in the best interests of Nisa’s members. The convenience store environment is changing rapidly, and is unrecognizable from that which existed when Nisa was founded more than 40 years ago. Co-op will add buying power and product range to our offering, while respecting our culture of independence.”
Jo Whitfield, CEO Co-op Food said: “We are delighted that Nisa members have supported our offer and our ambition to create a stronger member-led presence within the UK convenience sector. Together Co-op and Nisa can go from strength to strength, serving customers up and down the country and creating real value for them in their communities. Our offer remains conditional on CMA approval and we remain in discussions with them.”
Nisa shareholders will receive an equal initial payment, a deferred share payment payable over three years, as well as additional rebates payable over four years.
Along with taking on the existing Nisa debt of £105m, the combination is expected to bring ‘significant immediate and long-term benefits for Nisa members including access to greater scale, the Co-op’s award-winning range and own label proposition’.
Members will still enjoy the independence to operate their stores as they wish, and will be able to remain part of a member-owned organisation.
In October 2017, Nisa reported a positive H1 trading for the 26 weeks to 1 October 2017, with total sales up 12.4% to £728m on the comparable period. In June, the business also announced that it had completed the £120m refinancing of its debt facilities, providing longer term, cheaper, and more flexible capital for Nisa to further invest in growth over the next three to five years.