Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is reportedly moving closer to agreeing a £130m deal for the Nisa convenience store chain.
Nisa, which is owned by its shopkeeper members, has also reportedly been talking to other retailers (including the Co-Op) and wholesalers in recent months, but Sainsbury’s seems to be the preferred option, according to reports over the weekend. Nisa has also reportedly signed an ‘exclusivity’ agreement with Sainsbury’s, meaning that it cannot seek out other bidders for the time being.
The Nisa network encompasses 1,400 members operating around 2,500 outlets, most of them larger than most independent c-stores.
A possible Sainsbury’s/Nisa tie-up is widely seen as a response to Tesco’s proposed take-over of Booker, which still needs shareholder and regulatory approval. Any sale to Sainsbury – or indeed nyone else – would require approval from Nisa members.
Last year, Sainsbury’s bought the Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos, for £1.4bn. The deal not only brought Sainsbury’s more retail sites and helped it extend its presence beyond the grocery/supermarket sector, but also gave it access to Argos’s fast delivery capabilities.
A tie-up with Nisa could give Sainsbury’s a significant boost for its Click and Collect network and would deliver about £50m in supply chain and logistics savings to both parties. Nisa members would almost certainly get improved buying power if a deal went through – Sainsbury’s is the UK’s second-biggest supermarket.