Shareholders in supermarket chain Somerfield have voted to accept a bid for the company from Violet Acquisitions, a bid vehicle consisting of Apax Partners, Barclays Capital and the Tchenguiz Family Trust, the Somerfield board announced today (Monday).

Completion of the acquisition remains subject to the High Court sanctioning the scheme and confirming the associated reduction of Somerfield's share capital at court hearings which are expected to take place on 16 December 2005 and 20 December 2005 respectively, the board said.

Subject to the scheme receiving the sanction and confirmation of the Court on those dates, the effective date of the scheme is expected to be 21 December 2005. It is expected that dealings in Somerfield Shares will be suspended at 7.30am on 19 December 2005 and, if the Scheme becomes effective on 21 December 2005, listing of the Somerfield Shares will be cancelled on 21 December 2005. The consideration due to shareholders is expected to be sent by 4 January 2006.