UK grocery retailer Somerfield has announced that it has acquired the entire issued share capital of Scottish convenience store firm Aberness Limited.

Aberness, which was founded in 1857, owns and operates 36 convenience stores, has franchise arrangements with operators of five other stores, and distributes to a further 130 stores, all of which operate under the 'Mace' brand. Net assets acquired were £4.8m (US$8.8m) as at 31 March 2003, Somerfield said.

John von Spreckelsen, executive chairman of Somerfield, said the purchase complemented the company's existing store portfolio in Scotland.

The acquisition is the latest in a series of deals between supermarket retailers and convenience store chains. In the last few months Tesco has acquired 45-store chain Adminstore and Sainsbury's has purchased 54-store chain Bells.