The Nisa board’s unanimous backing of a £137.5m acquisition by Co-op could spell the end of months of uncertainty, retailers told RN, but the final decision now lies in the hands of its shareholders.
The board announced its decision to support the deal on Tuesday, revealing plans to host a series of roadshows across the country to enable retailers to ask questions, while also addressing any concerns.
It is now up to the two companies to convince members of the benefits for their stores, with a vote set to take place in early November.
Harj Dhasee, of The Village store in Mickleton, Gloucestershire, said: “I think the vote will be very close. Overall, I would say more people want it but the proof will be in the pudding at the roadshows and they will have to be convincing.
“I would be excited to access to a great fresh produce range. My main concerns are over price, products and promotions. The products will be there but will they be at the right price, and will the promotions be right?”
If the deal is given the go-ahead the Co-op will pay up to £137.5m over a period of four years, plus £5.5m in transaction costs.
Nisa will remain a standalone business, with shareholders set to receive an initial payment of £20,000 as well as additional rebates over the four years.
Anil Pankhania, of Nisa Local in Paddington, responded positively to the update. “Nisa is a fantastic brand but we need stability and this way we keep that great brand,” he
Ravi Kaushal, of Nisa Station Parade in Chiswick, London, also said he would welcome a deal, praising Co-op as an “ethical” company.
“I think it is a much better idea than the merger of retail and wholesale giants Tesco and Booker – which really will be the end of the convenience store if it goes ahead. It will kill all the competition,” he said.