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Morrisons wins out in McColl's take over


By David Porter

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Supermarket group Morrisons has rescued McColl's, the convenience store and newsagent chain and taken on all 16,000 staff members it has been confirmed.

Morrisons has taken formal ownership of branches which were previously operated by R S McColls including the one in Banff.
Morrisons has taken formal ownership of branches which were previously operated by R S McColls including the one in Banff.

They beat a rival offer from EG Group owned by the billionaire Issa brothers.

It was confirmed that Morrisons will pay off McColl's £170m bank debts and take on its 1160 shops which includes stores in Ellon and Banff as well as stores in Kemnay, Fraserburgh, New Pitsligo, Insch, Rothes and Elgin.

They will also take on the existing pension schemes, with its 2000 members.

McColl's was put into administration by PwC on Monday and was immediately sold to Morrisons.

Morrisons chief executive, David Potts, said in a statement: "Although we are disappointed that the business was put into administration, we believe this is a good outcome for McColl's and all its stakeholders.

"This transaction offers stability and continuity for the McColl's business and, in particular, a better outcome for its colleagues and pensioners."

McColl's ran into difficulties as it attempted to update the range of food it sold and when it emerged last week that the convenience chain store was close to collapse a bidding war began.

Retail trade union Usdaw welcomed the intervention of supermarket giant Morrisons and Joanne McGuinness – Usdaw National Officer said: “It is great news that Morrisons has been successful in their bid to buy McColl’s out of administration and it will be a huge relief for the staff.

"We are now seeking urgent discussions with Morrisons as McColl’s was a non-unionised business, which meant their staff had no real voice in the future of the business.

"Usdaw has a long-standing and productive relationship with Morrisons and we will be looking to extend trade union representation to all staff in McColl’s.”


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