Grocery wholesaler Metcash has acquired a 25.1% stake in Champions IGA which operates six supermarkets in Victoria, it said today (Thursday).

"The acquisition of 25.1% of Champions IGA will enable both of our companies to benefit as a consequence of closer alignment of business interests and strategy," said Metcash CEO Andrew Reitzer. "Our objective is to ensure the long-term viability of the independent grocery business in Australia."

"The Champions investment signifies the value of our relationship and the high standing that Champions IGA enjoys in the retail community," said Champions CEO Brendon Goddard. "This new level of our partnership will help us achieve our growth objectives of an additional eight supermarkets over the next five years."

The management of Champion will remain with the existing team while Metcash representatives will join the board, Metcash said.