Londis has announced that recently appointed vice chairman Peter McNamara would temporarily take over the role of chief executive.

Last week chief executive, Graham White, agreed to step down, while finance director Andrew Wallace has also retired from the board.

McNamara said: “My focus in the coming weeks, will be one of leadership and managing the important strategic issues we face. I do want our employees and shareholders to feel we have a viable and exciting business, which is capable of further growth, whichever strategic route we pursue.”

Earlier this month, Londis put itself up for sale three months after Irish food group Musgrave’s controversial £40m offer sparked a bidding frenzy for the convenience chain.

After Musgrave’s initial offer - whereby four Londis directors would have shared £20.4m in contrast to £10,344 for Londis shopkeepers - Londis members said they needed independent guidance in order to decide on the best option.

Graham White; Andrew Wallace; Terry Bedford, sales director; and Denise Buller, commercial director, are to receive a total of £2m in compensation for dropping their rights to the £20m windfall.

Following a strategic review of the symbol group, KPMG is to try and broker a deal with those interested companies who were asked to make indicative bids for Londis.

The four directors will now work for Londis on a consultancy basis, a deal negotiated by non-executive directors at Londis.