The UK’s Cooperative Group has purchased beleaguered convenience store chain Alldays for £131m (US$204m) making it the country’s largest convenience store operator.

Alldays, which operates 600 stores, had gone into receivership with debts of around £190m enabling the Co-op to acquire the company free of debt.

The Co-op will also take on all of Alldays’ 10,500 staff.

Alldays’ shareholders will receive 5p a share, a total of £2.2m, with most of the purchase price going towards paying off a portion of Alldays’ debt.

Before the deal, the Co-op operated 1,071 food stores that generated sales of £2.4bn a year. The group is also involved in travel, banking and funeral businesses.