Morrisons saves McColl’s

McColl's store

Administrators for McColl’s PWC have completed a sale of the business and assets of the group to Alliance Property Holdings, part of the Morrisons Group, its largest supplier.

McColl’s fell into administration on 6 May after failing to secure a “financing solution”.

The deal includes all 16,000 staff, 1,100 stores across the UK, and also includes Morrisons agreeing to rescue the group’s two pension schemes which have more than 2,000 members.

McColl’s Retail Group operates a chain of more than 1,100 convenience retail stores and newsagents across the UK. The majority of group stores trade under the McColl’s brand, alongside 270 operating as Morrisons Daily concessions.

Rob Lewis, joint administrator and partner at PwC, said: “Especially during the current economic climate, the completion of this transaction provides much-needed certainty to McColl’s 16,000 staff after a period of understandable concern following the Group’s challenges over the past months.  As well as saving thousands of jobs, this deal secures a platform for the trustees of the Group’s pension schemes to enter into arrangements which will protect the pensions entitlements of so many people. All in all a really positive outcome.

“Morrisons Wholesale Supply Agreement will continue in place after the transaction minimising disruption to customers and employees as all stores will continue to trade. We wish Morrisons well with integrating McColls into their business.”

Morrisons saw off a rival bids from Asda’s owners -the Issa brothers – who also own EG Group.

David Potts, Morrisons chief executive, said: “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.

“We all look forward to welcoming many new colleagues into the Morrisons business and to building on the proven strength of the Morrisons Daily format.”