Musgrave gets go-ahead to complete sale of UK business

Booker to buy group’s loss-making business for €57m

The decision to sell the business comes after Musgrave last summer wrote down about €131 million in relation to the British operation

The decision to sell the business comes after Musgrave last summer wrote down about €131 million in relation to the British operation

 

The UK Competition and Markets Authority has approved the sale of Musgrave Group’s loss-making British business to Booker for €57 million.

The Cork-based group, which owns SuperValu and Centra, said it will now move to complete the deal after Booker in a move that sees Musgrave exiting the UK market.

The decision to sell the business comes after Musgrave last summer wrote down about €131 million in relation to the British operation, which covers about 1630 franchised Londis stores and 167 Budgens outlets.

Announcing the sale in May, Musgrave said it would allow the group to concentrate on its business in the Republic, the North and Spain.

Under the deal, Musgrave has entered a strategic partnership with Booker. This will include the Irish company learning from Booker’s advanced digital operations. It will also include Musgrave possibly using some of Booker’s suppliers in a buying arrangement.

Musgrave said last month it expects to return to profit this year after posting a net loss of €13 million for 2013 on sales of more than €4.6 million.