Beleaguered UK convenience store chain Alldays has received a takeover bid from compatriot retailer the Cooperative Group.
Alldays’ share price has collapsed under the burden of debts amounting to £190m (US$297.1m) which it incurred when borrowing to buy in its franchisees, reports the Independent. If the bid were successful, the Co-op would take on the bulk of Alldays’ debt, but would want to negotiate with Alldays’ lender Royal Bank of Scotland to have some of the debt written off. Its offer is likely to be in the region of £150m.
The 600-stores Alldays chain has been mentioned as a possible acquisition target for numerous other major supermarket groups, but the bid from the Co-op looks the most serious so far. About half of the group’s 1,100 outlets are convenience stores, so the mutual group is well placed to operate Alldays. Nevertheless, now that it has emerged as a serious bidder, Co-op could face competition from Tesco and Sainsbury’s who may be spurred on to make a rival bid.