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February 3, 2004

UK: Nisa-Today’s proposes merger with Londis

Independent retail group Nisa-Today's has proposed a merger with convenience store chain and current takeover target Londis.

Independent retail group Nisa-Today’s has proposed a merger with convenience store chain and current takeover target Londis.

Nisa, which has over 475 members operating over 5,000 stores, said it would not join the bidding process for the symbol group. But in a letter to Londis shareholders, Nisa said a merger of the two businesses would create a company with £2bn (US$3.7bn) in sales, and able to compete with multiple retailers entering the convenience sector.

Dudley Ramsden, chairman of Nisa-Today’s, also wrote to KPMG, the financial group brought in to help Londis with the sale process, reported the Financial Times.

KPMG, however, said it was puzzled by the letter to shareholders.

“If they are serious about giving Londis’ shareholders an attractive opportunity, they should join in the process,” KPMG was quoted by the Financial Times as saying.

Several UK retailers, including Big Food Group, Somerfield and the Cooperative Group, are believed to be interested in acquiring Londis.

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