Somerfield Acquisition

In 2008, The Co-operative Group announced a £1.57 billion takeover deal of the Somerfield supermarket chain. The deal was approved by the Office of Fair Trading in October 2008 after the UK watchdog said no competition issues were found at a national level, but stipulated that The Co-op will have to offload at least 126 Somerfield stores to address competition concerns in local grocery markets.

Once completed, the move will cement The Co-op’s position as Britain’s fifth-largest supermarket chain, with a store portfolio of more than 3,100 supermarkets and convenience stores, and projected annual sales of £10 billion.

In February 2009, The Co-op confirmed that 650 Somerfield stores will be converted to its own-brand, around 130 Co-op stores with competition concerns will be closed, and all Somerfield operations moved from its head office in Bristol to the Co-operative Group’s existing headquaters in Manchester .