Costcutter seeking acquisitions in wake of Bibby Line takeover

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Costcutter has admitted it is on the prowl for acquisitions after transport and logistics giant Bibby Line Group took full control of the c-store chain this week.

Bibby revealed in September it was close to finalising a deal to acquire the remaining 49% stake in Costcutter. It acquired a 51% stake in 2007.

After Bibby secured the remaining stake on Monday in a deal reported to have netted Costcutter chairman Colin Graves, MD Nick Ivel and two partners £70m, Graves said Costcutter was now seeking further opportunities to grow the business and get better deals for retailers. The deal has created Bibby Retail Services, of which Graves will be CEO, to “look for further opportunities to grow the convenience retail business”.

Admitting Costcutter already had potential targets, Graves added he wanted to make Bibby Retail Services “the prime mover in the sector”. He also reiterated that Costcutter was still considering its options over whether to continue its distribution agreement with Nisa, which runs until 2014.

Earlier this year, Costcutter MD Nick Ivel, who this week was named CEO of the chain, said Costcutter had four options – extend the contract, set up its own distribution, sign up with another provider or buy a third party.

Graves said these were still being considered, with a decision expected in the next six months. “Nisa has a new contract on the table. We do not think it’s sharp enough.” 

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