Canadian grocer Sobeys looks set to buy Thrifty Foods, a local retailer based in the province of British Columbia.

Sobeys, which is owned by Canadian retail and real estate group Empire Co., said both sides had agreed a deal based on Thrifty's enterprise value of C$260m (US$249m).

Sobeys already owns or franchises more than 1,300 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners including Sobeys and Foodland.

"Thrifty's is a very well respected and well run food-focused retailer with great management and a reputation for exceptional customer service," said Sobeys president and CEO Bill McEwan.

Thrifty's chairman Alex Campbell added: "We have come to the realisation that if we want to continue as the market leader, then we must commit to a new era of growth."