The Co-operative Group is likely to complete the transaction to buy Somerfield in November, the consortium that owns Somerfield said.

The private equity consortium, made up of Barclays Capital, Apax and property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz, agreed to sell Somerfield for £1.565bn last week – although the deal has yet to be scrutinised by the OFT. 

A spokeswoman for the consortium said the scrutiny was likely to be completed in October, after any appeals had been heard. 

The Co-op planned to begin removing the Somerfield fascia from stores once the money had changed hands, added CEO Peter Marks.