Nisa members accept Co-op takeover offer

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Nisa members have voted in favour of the takeover approach from the Co-operative Group.

A 75% proportion of shareholder votes cast was necessary in order to approve the takeover, and this was narrowly achieved, with the margin being 75.8% to 24.2%. More than 80% of individual shareholder members approved the transaction.

The offer requires clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority, which is expected around the end of March next year.

Reacting to the result, Sally Croft, owner of Nisa Local in Towcester, Northamptonshire, said: “There has been a huge amount of negativity from shopkeepers about this but at the end of the day, the vote has been carried so clearly there were lots of retailers who wanted change but didn’t necessarily want to be vocal about it.

“We are positive about the decision. It’s really hard out there. We need the backup of a solid supplier and we have to embrace change and do what is best for business.”

Rav Garcha, who owns five Nisa stores in the West Midlands, said: “I voted no because I thought Nisa could still fulfil our needs, but I’m not overly disappointed. You can see for the majority it’s the right decision.

“Looking at it positively, hopefully we’ll be part of a bigger network now. I got into retailing because it’s what I wanted to do, rather than being a Nisa retailer specifically, and that hasn’t changed. Only the supply chain has changed.

“I would hope that any promises made by the Co-op are upheld, especially the informal promises – for example, they said they would help with margins in the event of economic difficulties associated with Brexit. Overall, I’m confident the Co-op will help us grow.”

Nisa chairman Peter Hartley said: “We are delighted that our members have chosen in such significant numbers to vote in favour of Co-op’s offer. We as a Board are firm in our belief that a combination with the Co-op is in the best interests of Nisa’s members. The convenience store environment is changing rapidly, and is unrecognisable from that which existed when Nisa was founded more than 40 years ago. Co-op will add buying power and product range to our offering, while respecting our culture of independence.”

Co-op Food ceo Jo Whitfield said:  “We are delighted that Nisa members have supported our offer and our ambition to create a stronger member-led presence within the UK convenience sector. Together Co-op and Nisa can go from strength to strength, serving customers up and down the country and creating real value for them in their communities. Our offer remains conditional on CMA approval and we remain in discussions with them.”

Readers' comments (13)

  • what coop has offered are aspirations but no guarantees , including the pricing . many 1/2 truths were told . many a issues not disclosed until penetrative questions . decision making too rushed . and many a retailers have fallen for 20 pieces of coop silver .

    the decision has been made and voted on . so lets see what coop can deliver on their assurances . time will tell . those with 1 share can walk away with smug smile . those with larger holding will have to wait 4 yrs before deciding to jump ship

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  • They offered more than nisa did. Who didn't even offer aspirations.

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  • Here lie the ashes of Nisa. RIP

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  • As former Costcutter retailers this news is not so bitter as we have only been direct Nisa members for around 3yrs. I can definitely feel for the emotions who have been Nisa much longer. But what is bitter is the manor of the downfall. Once Nisa CC split, PH supply was poor literally. Nisa Was the best till Nick Read came along. We were fed lies....and all it took was 2.5yrs for Nisa to be sold. There is no doubt sentiments are high but this is something bigger. A story of corruption and greed. We can't stop it. Its all about who offers the biggest pie. A famous saying from fellow loyal members .......look after number 1

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  • Watch now for Sir Michael Bibby to enter the fray.CSG people are supposed to be waiting on a MAJOR move

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  • So , over 500 Nisa retail members couldn't be bothered to vote ? . Unbelievable .

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  • Dear Experienced,they were probably at the C&C trying to save a £1.

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  • This is purely the result of corporate greed and corruption.
    Read and Brown had one goal and that was to sell this business from underneath the Members.
    What was supposedly a closed vote had Nisa staff running around the country collecting yes votes after the vote had ended, so they knew the result and they knew they fell short of the target.
    Criminal in my eyes.

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  • Nope. It was the result of the group no longer fulfilling it's members requirements on price, promotions and availability.

    Plus the realisation it would be unable to compete in the future retailscape of supermarket wholesale and internet giants.

    Along with frustration at special terms being given to certain members and excessive bonuses enriching a few at the expense of the many.

    Hence the 80% who balloted for the deal.

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  • Spot on,Warm Regards.Pet retailers with multi sites were treated like Kings often at the expense of the single site operator.Rotten from the top down

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