Nisa Members have voted by a margin of three to one in favour of the Co-op’s offer to buy the business for up to £137.5m.
At a meeting today (November 13) in Leeds, 75.79% voted in favour and 24.21% against the offer, which still requires clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority. This is expected around the end of March next year.
Nisa Chairman Peter Hartley said: “We are delighted that our members have chosen in such significant numbers to vote in favour of Co-op’s offer. We as a Board are firm in our belief that a combination with the Co-op is in the best interests of Nisa’s members. The convenience store environment is changing rapidly, and is unrecognisable from that which existed when Nisa was founded more than 40 years ago. Co-op will add buying power and product range to our offering, while respecting our culture of independence.”
Jo Whitfield, CEO Co-op Food, said: “We are delighted that Nisa members have supported our offer and our ambition to create a stronger member-led presence within the UK convenience sector. Together Co-op and Nisa can go from strength to strength, serving customers up and down the country and creating real value for them in their communities.”
Nisa shareholders will receive an equal initial payment, a deferred share payment payable over three years, as well as additional rebates payable over four years.
Along with taking on the existing Nisa debt of £105m, the combination is expected to bring significant immediate and long-term benefits for Nisa members including access to greater scale, as well as the Co-op’s range and own-label proposition. Members will still be able to operate their stores as they wish.