CMA approves McColl's acquisition of 298 Co-op stores

Helen Cahill
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Women leaving a McColl's store
McColl's said in July that it would be taking on the 298 stores (Source: McColl's)

Don't you love it when the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) clears something just in time for Christmas?

The CMA has given the green-light to McColl's acquisition of 298 Co-op stores.

McColl's intention to take on the stores was first announced back in July, and now that the CMA has approved the deal, McColl's expects the stores will be complete in August next year.

Retail analyst Nick Bubb said: "Better late than never... we were beginning to wonder if the wretched CMA would ever make up its mind about the mooted acquisition by McColl’s of 298 convenience stores from the Co-op that was announced back on 13 July.

Read more: McColl's announces sales drop after acquisition of stores from the Co-op

"Knowing how picky the CMA can be, given the local overlap of some half a dozen stores, that is a good result, although the news obviously comes much too late for McColl’s to do anything about it before Christmas."

The new shops represent a significant expansion of McColl's convenience store portfolio. After taking on the Co-op shops, convenience stores will make up over three quarters of McColl's property footprint. The £117m acquisition will add to the 1,001 stores McColl's already has.

Jonathan Miller, chief executive of McColl's, said: "We are delighted that the CMA has approved our acquisition of these 298 quality convenience stores. This is a transformational deal, which will substantially accelerate our growth strategy and expands our neighbourhood presence for the benefit of our customers."

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