UK supermarket retailer Tesco has announced that it has made a deal for a £377m (US$586.7m) all-share purchase of UK corner shop group T&S Stores.

In addition, Tesco will also take on T&S' net debt which stood at £153m on 24 August 2002.

Tesco is looking to expand its network of Tesco Express stores, adding to the 100 plus it already operates.

Before the deal, T&S operated 862 convenience stores through its One Stop and Day & Nite chains and a total of 343 outlets of its Dillons newsagents and Supercigs discount tobacconists.

Tesco plans to sell on T&S' non-core fascias, Dillons and Supercigs, which accounted for around 24% of T&S sales in 2001, while 450 T&S convenience stores are to be converted to Tesco Express stores. The remainder will continue to operate independently as One Stop or Day & Nite outlets.

Tesco has said that the conversion of T&S stores into the Tesco Express format will create around 1400 local jobs.

The deal, which comes just one day after Co-op's purchase of Alldays, will increase Tesco's share of the UK convenience store market to 5%.