aScotland’s highest profile independent retailer Eddie Thompson has sold his 50-store Morning Noon & Night chain to co-operative retailer Scotmid in a deal worth almost £30m.
Thompson founded the c-store chain in Dundee 12 years ago and built it up to become a £50m turnover company, ranked 24 in The Grocer Top 50, with operating profits of £1.8m and employing more than 800 staff.
MN& N is the fourth independent c-store chain to be sold in Scotland this year. It follows Somerfield’s purchase of Mace wholesaler and retailer Aberness which had 36 company-owned stores, and the sale of the 17-store AJ Gillespie chain to Spar wholesaler and retailer CJ Lang.
Last month Scotmid also bought the 13-store Spar chain SCS, taking its store total in Scotland to 265 and its employees to more than 4,600.
Somerfield, Tesco and Co-operative Group are also believed to have bid for MN&N, but none of the parties would confirm this.
Colin Bird, chief executive of Scotmid, said: “This is one of the most significant retail deals concluded in Scotland and will bring the Scotmid name into areas of Scotland where we did not have a presence. From next February we will start a rebranding operation that will see all MN&N stores change to Scotmid.”
Thompson said: “Selling a company that I built from scratch into a leading chain is one of the
hardest decisions I have had to make. I wanted a deal where I knew there would be no store closures and all my staff would be looked after.”
Thompson is currently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer and said this had been a key factor in his decision to sell the business.
The deal was described as a “disappointment but not a surprise” by Filshill MD Ronnie Hannah. The delivered wholesaler and Key Lekkerland member won the contract to supply MN&N in April. Hannah said with the prices being offered to independent retailers, he had expected the deal. He added that even without the MN&N volume, Filshill was up 5% year-on-year.