SCOTMID Society has acquired the Dundee-based convenience store chain Morning Noon & Night in a deal worth nearly £ 30 million.
In one of the largest retail deals between Scottish companies, the purchase of Morning Noon & Night is another major expansion leap for Scotmid, taking its number of stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland to 265 and its workforce to over 4,600.
Morning Noon & Night, founded 12 years ago by Eddie Thompson ? who is also chairman and owner of Dundee United Football Club ? operates 50 c-stores throughout Scotland. The company has over 800 staff; an annual turnover of £ 53 million and operating profits for 2004 of £ 1.8 million.
Scotmid Chief Executive Colin Bird told the News: `This is one of the most significant retail deals concluded in Scotland and will bring the Scotmid name into areas where we did not have a presence.
`Morning Noon & Night is recognised for its superb community reputation, value for money and friendly and professional staff. Their stores will be an excellent fit for the Scotmid operation.
`Without doubt we have purchased an extremely well run, profitable and successful company with funding provided by our relationship bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland Edinburgh Corporate Banking, who have supported us throughout the deal process`.
`From next February, we will start a re-branding operation that will see all MN&N stores change to Scotmid. However customers will still the see same faces behind their counters and they will also get further added value shopping through the Co-operative product.`
Added Mr Bird: `I saw this year as one when Scotmid would be aggressively pro-active in acquisitions. Our purchase of MN&N; M and S Toiletries; 13 Spar Stores and a Motherwell funeral business are proof of our intentions.
`Although we will still continue to be acquisitive, the next purchases will not be on the same scale as MN&N. Now is the time for consolidation and making Scotmid a household name throughout the whole of Scotland.`
Morning Noon & Night owner Eddie Thompson said: `Selling a company that I built from scratch into a leading grocery chain is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make. However, it has been made easier in the knowledge that Scotmid are recognised as an excellent company.
`I wanted a deal where I knew that there would be no store closures and that all my staff would be well looked after.
`I am currently undergoing treatment for prostate cancer and this has been a key factor in my decision to sell the business. From a personal viewpoint I will now have additional time to spend on my other interests.`
As well as being chairman and owner of Dundee United, Mr Thompson is also chairman of the Scottish Retail Consortium and is on the boards of the British Retail Consortium and the Scottish CBI Council. He also represents Scottish retailers on other matters.
He added: `I would like to thank the MN&N staff for their loyalty over the years and their undoubted contribution in making the company successful. I personally regard many of the people in MN&N not only as colleagues but also as friends.`