The Co-op buys Nisa

Nisa retailers accept offer for buying group

Nisa members have accepted The Co-op’s offer.

NISA retailers have accepted The Co-op’s £143m offer to purchase the buying group.

After a summer of speculation over the future of Nisa, The Co-op made a formal offer in October that was unanimously recommended to Nisa retailers by the buying group’s board.

Nisa members voted in favour of The Co-op’s acquisition offer at a meeting held at Elland Road stadium in Leeds earlier today (13 November). Members voted 75.79% in favour of the deal to 24.21% against.

The vote followed a tour of the country made by teams from Nisa and The Co-op promoting the benefits of the deal, members have accepted the offer to purchase the buying group.

The Co-op deal, which consists of an equal initial payout for all Nisa shareholder retailers followed by a deferred share payment payable over three years as well as additional rebates payable over four years, will now be subject to scrutiny from the Competition and Markets Authority.

As part of the deal, The Co-op takes Nisa’s existing debt of around £105m. The Co-op has also pledged to maintain “the continuation of key aspects of Nisa members’ independence”.

Commenting on the vote, 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 unrecognisable 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, chief executive of 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.”