Midcounties Co-op has doubled its store portfolio with the purchase of 150 Stars
c-stores and newsagents from Stars News Shops Ltd.
Following the acquisition the society will run 297 retail stores across the Midlands, Home Counties and the South West. The takeover will be finalised by March 2007.
Midcounties bosses said that the society would simply take ownership of the new stores initially, but that the two businesses would be brought closer together in the future. The 3,000 full-time and part-time staff employed in the Stars operation will retain their jobs.
Midcounties Co-op chief executive Ben Reid said: "This represents an important acquisition for the society which will greatly increase our presence in the c-store market and give us a significant entry into CTN retailing. Stars is a strong business which will benefit further from being part of a larger retailer like the Co-op.
"We are planning to continue growing the business."
Stars News Shops, formerly owned by the publishers of regional newspaper The Wolverhampton Express & Star, had made a few tentative steps into c-store retailing, including a period with Spar. It is currently supplied by P&H and Kerry Foods.