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Sainsbury's heads queue to buy Nisa convenience stores

19 June 2017

United Kingdom retailer Sainsbury is said to be close to submitting a formal bid to acquire Nisa, a wholesaler and convenience store group that counts more than 2,500 independently-owned stores around the United Kingdom as members.

Shopkeeper members of local supermarket chain Nisa are set to vote on the future of the group, as Sainsbury's nears a £130m deal to acquire it.

Shares in Sainsbury's were 2.3% higher at 258.1p in morning trading, taking it to the top of the FTSE 100.

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Sainsbury's is thought to be homing in on a £130 million takeover of Nisa after the mutually owned business hired bankers to explore a sale which Shore Capital's Clive Black said is likely to have been inspired by the Tesco-Booker combination.

"Sainsbury's move into convenience shows the brand's determination to remain a key player in the market".

The deal between Tesco and Booker is now being investigated by competition watchdogs before it can go-ahead.

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The deal would face a competition probe on the grounds that it could risk reducing competition and customer choice in the sector, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Meanwhile, the proposed Tesco-Booker merger is now under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Nisa revealed last week that was looking to demutualise and seek a grocery buyer in light of Tesco's plans to merge with grocery wholesaler and convenience store operator Booker.

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