THE Co-operative Group has added 64 convenience stores to its portfolio after a large acquisition in the South West of England.
The group announced that it has acquired the share capital of Plymouth and Cornwall Convenience Stores Ltd, Devon and Cornwall Convenience Stores Ltd and Somerset and Bristol Convenience Stores Ltd from Conveco.
Thirty-eight of the stores trade under the Spar fascia, the remainder as Local Plus.
The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, brings the group's tally of stores to 1,820 and adds 127,000 sq. ft. of selling space in prime locations in the South West of England.
The deal was negotiated by the Birmingham office of Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity which represented the controlling institutional investors in the business.
The Co-operative Group plans to run the chain initially as a stand-alone business before converting the stores to its Welcome convenience format.
Co-operative Group Chief Executive, Martin Beaumont, said: "This acquisition strengthens our presence in the South West and adds to the momentum building behind our convenience proposition.
"We will add significant value to this business to the benefit of our consumer members."
Tony O'Neill, Conveco Chief Executive, said: "This deal and the investment that the Co-operative Group will make across the estate represents a very positive move forward for all our employees and customers alike."
Last year total food sales at the Co-operative Group rose by 17.4 per cent to £ 3.07 billion and food profits jumped 63 per cent to £ 113.4 million. Over the last two years the Group has acquired around 750 stores, primarily through the acquisition of the Alldays and Balfour chains.