After more than six months of tussling, Ireland’s largest food distributor, Musgrave, has finally sealed a deal to buy UK convenience store group Londis for £60m (US$101.9m).

Over 97% of Londis franchise shopkeepers last night [Tuesday] voted to accept the deal, with each of them netting a windfall of approximately £31,000, a good chunk more than foreseen under Musgrave’s original offer.

Musgrave has warded off a string of competitors to buy Londis including a vehicle launched by former directors of T&S Stores (now a Tesco division), as well as bids from the Co-op and off-licence group Thresher and signs of interest from the Big Food Group.

Londis operates some 2000 stores, which will remain under the ownership of the individual shopkeepers. Musgrave will supply most of the goods sold.