The deal, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, would see all 3,808 members of staff currently working in the 298 stores in question transfer to McColl’s on the same terms and conditions, so no job losses are anticipated.
The 298 stores sold to McColl’s represent the smaller stores in The Co-op’s estate, with an average size of 1,700sq ft.
Co-op Food chief executive Steve Murrells said: “This announcement is completely in line with our strategy, as these stores did not allow us to provide a sufficiently compelling own-brand offer for our members going forwards. The proceeds will be re-invested to drive sustainable growth for our members.”
McColl’s chief executive Jonathan Miller said: “I am delighted to announce the acquisition of 298 quality convenience stores in a transformational deal for McColl’s. This opportunity substantially accelerates our growth strategy and expands our neighbourhood presence for the benefit of our customers.
“These stores are profitable, well-invested, and the perfect size for our operating model. We expect the transaction to be significantly earnings enhancing for our shareholders.”
McColl’s claims to rank third in the number of owned convenience stores in the UK. The company said it sells 50,000 sandwiches every week, 30,000 £1 loaves of bread every week and 100m units of confectionery every year.
In April The Co-operative Group reported 3.3% underlying profit growth in food sales, up to £250m for the 52 weeks to 2 January 2016.