The Co-op will forge ahead with its intention to buy Nisa and has been granted an exclusive period of due diligence to carry out the transaction from today.
In a statement to Nisa members, chairman Peter Hartley said the board at Nisa had held “a number of positive discussions with the Co-op in recent weeks”, after reaffirming its interest in making an offer for the company.
Hartley said the Co-op wanted to progress matters as quickly as possible in the hope that a transaction can be finalised, and that the Co-op is willing to incur costs on its own account to achieve this.
A period of exclusive due diligence begins today and, once the period has ended, it is anticipated that the Co-op could be in a position to make a final offer to Nisa members for their consideration. There is no guarantee that an offer will be forthcoming.
Hartley added: “The convenience sector continues to evolve at pace and the board of Nisa will continue to review serious queries and offers which emerge (within the constraints of any agreed exclusivity period) and which it believes are in the best long-term interest of the members.”
Philip Constantine of Nisa Local Hither Green in London, said the decision could present a massive opportunity for his business.
“Nisa is looking for a partner to help strengthen its performance and improve its prices. I’m hoping a Co-op Franchise offer could be part of the deal because it’s such a trusted brand,” he said.
Tim Garner, owner of Nisa Local Portsbridge in Portsmouth, said: “Nisa is very good at being open with its members, but we don’t yet know what to expect. Every Nisa member will now have to wait and see what the deal will include, and then will vote accordingly.”