Booker has sold 15 company-owned Budgens stores to The Co-operative as it commits to helping its independent retailers.

The stores are predominantly located in London and the South East and have been sold for an undisclosed sum.

Booker chief executive Charles Wilson said: “Booker Group is committed to growing the Budgens business with our independent retail partners.

“Through selling 15 of our company-owned stores to the Co-op, we will be able to focus on the partner business.”

The Co-operative Food chief executive for retail, Steve Murrells, said the store acquisitions supported its focus on convenience retail.

“Co-op Food continues to go from strength to strength, with a clear strategy that focuses on the growing convenience store market and our vision to establish ourselves as the number one convenience store operator,” he said.

“Our acquisitions programme is fundamental to the success of this strategy, and in 2016 The Co-operative is actively pursuing 100 new stores.”

This transaction is subject to the approval of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The stores are as follows:

· Bedgrove

· Bradford-on-Avon

· Byfleet

· Chalfont St Peter

· Crouch End (pictured)

· East Barnet

· Fakenham

· Fulham

· Grange Park

· Northcourt

· Parsons Green

· Ripley

· Sandy

· Tysoe Street

· Walton on the Hill