Somerfield To Be Sold Off

Somerfield’s owners are reportedly considering selling the business after receiving several expressions of interest.
The UK’s fifth biggest supermarket chain has appointed banking giant Citigroup to manage the sale process, which has attracted interest from other supermarket groups as potential buyers.
The Bristol-based grocer, which has more than 900 stores, revealed like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, for the six weeks ending 5 January rose by nearly 5 per cent – outperforming festive sales at Waitrose (4.1 per cent), Sainsbury ’s (3.7 per cent) and Tesco (3.1 per cent).
Somerfield was taken private two years ago for £1.1bn to a consortium led by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz and including Apax Partners and Barclays Capital.
Chief executive Paul Mason said: “Somerfield has enjoyed an exceptional Christmas . Our strong sales growth reflects the turnaround in the business and our clear focus on delivering the local grocery offer our customers want.”
“Our smaller stores performed particularly well, underlining the strength of our market position focused on convenience, the fastest-growing area of the food retail market .”
Mason added: “Over the past two years, our strategy has been to reshape, regenerate and grow Somerfield.”
“We are focused on providing our customers with the best availability, the freshest product, the friendliest service locally and being the easiest local store to shop .”

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