Midlands Co-op is in talks with Raunds Co-op about a possible merger.

Midlands, the UK's second-largest independent co-op, operates across 11 counties in the food, travel, funeral and transport sectors and employs 7,500. Raunds has 96 staff and runs a large supermarket, non-food store and farm in Northamptonshire.

"Midlands Co-op is a very large resourceful and financially sound neighbouring society, whose plans and aspirations meet with the long-term interests of Raunds," said Raunds Co-op chief executive and secretary Keith Tindall.

Merger food chiefs p15