It is understandable that Nisa-Today's members will want to know more about the proposed merger with Costcutter ('Costcutter plan sparks rebellion', The Grocer, May 13, p5).
For that reason, we are organising a series of roadshows around the country attended by the senior management team to discuss the proposals with shareholders.
We see the proposals as the start of an exciting opportunity to strengthen the independent sector's position on the high street. The logical combination of two businesses that have been working together for 18 years will provide greater efficiency and lower operating costs.
The combined business will present a powerful force against the multiples and has the backing of Kaupthing, an investor that is fully committed to the sector and will support an ambitious growth agenda, including potential acquisitions. The values of member ownership and involvement are central to Nisa-Today's and, for that reason, we propose that existing Nisa-Today's members will own a substantial 40% share in the new company and have three seats on the main board.
In terms of the deal, the only people taking cash out of the proposal are Nisa-Today's members. Members owning 100 shares will receive £50,000 over 24 months and an additional 100 shares worth £30,000 in the new company, subject to due diligence.
The Nisa-Today's management will take no cash from the deal but will be given the opportunity to purchase shares in the new company. At the same time, the Nisa-Today's management will lose substantial existing contractual benefits. If the proposals are accepted, the senior team will also reduce their salaries by an average of 25% in the new company.
We would like Nisa-Today's shareholders to attend the consultative meetings, and I and my fellow directors will be happy to discuss the proposals with any shareholder. We genuinely believe that they are in the best interests of Nisa-Today's and the independent sector.