Three senior industry sources have claimed that Costcutter Supermarkets Group owner, Bibby Line Group have begun a formal process for selling its convenience arm.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is alleged to be managing the process. It was claimed that several interested parties have signed non-disclosure agreements in order to be granted access to Costcutter’s confidential commercial information.

Responding to the claims, a spokesperson for Costcutter told betterRetailing: “As on previous occasions, we will not be commenting on rumour and speculation about the future ownership of our business. Our focus is on delivering the great offer and service our retailers rely on to help their businesses thrive.”

The company launched the “next phase” of its Shopper First initiative in March 2019, which provides stores taking part with local customer data from analysts to help achieve additional sales. Costcutter boss Darcy Willson-Rymer claimed it has the potential to add 20% to a store’s turnover.

Previous claims related to a change of ownership for Costcutter Supermarkets Group included alleged interest from Bestway, Sainsbury’s and the Co-op, all reported in late 2017. Bibby Line Group boss at the time Michael Bibby had confirmed in 2017 that there were “exciting opportunities on the table”. 

He added: “We are active in the market to explore all available opportunities.”