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Rival bidders EG Group & Morrisons table final bids to buy McColl’s

Rival bidders EG Group & Morrisons table final bids to buy McColl’s

Morrisons, the fourth largest supermarket chain in the UK, and EG Group, a Blackburn-based British retailer, have reportedly tabled their final bids to acquire McColl’s, a prominent UK-based convenience store.

Morrisons offered a last-minute proposal on Sunday. As per sources, EG Group, the petrol station business owned by the billionaire Issa brothers, reacted to this proposal with a revised offering.

While no formal announcements have been made; it is now being understood that Morrisons was able to secure the winning bid.

For the record, Morrisons is one of the key wholesale suppliers for McColl's. The firm has had a tie-up with the latter to convert several McColl's shops in to Morrisons Daily convenience stores. Currently, there are over 200 such stores already operating, and performing quite well.

Last week, it emerged that the convenience chain had wandered into choppy waters and close to a collapse. This development led to an intense bidding war over the course of the weekend, with both Morrisons and EG Group having filed their final offers for McColl's on Sunday.

A key factor that led to Morrisons securing the winning bid was its willingness to repay approximately £170 million to McColl's banks, and also taking on the responsibility of the firm’s pension scheme, which boasts of over 2,000 members.

McColl's pension schemes trustees wrote to UK Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, requesting him to do everything in hand to protect the members of the pension scheme.

McColl's pension scheme trustees had written to the UK Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, essentially urging him intervene and make sure that the members of the pension scheme are protected.

Morrisons stated that its deal would properly protect the pensioners. Nevertheless, trustees are worried that the liquidation process can result in the loss of pension liabilities.

The trustees think that because EG Group purports to be a responsible corporate citizen, it should be held accountable for the schemes.

The Pension Protection Fund (PFF) funded by the industry will be liable for repaying members if the buyers cancel the pension plans.

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Meghna Singh

An English Literature graduate, Meghna Singh ventured into the profession of content development to incorporate her knack for writing articles across verticals including technology, healthcare, business, and alike for News Origins and Newsorigins. She has also completed her MBA in Tourism and worked as a content creator in the field of product development.