MIDLANDS and Ilkeston Co-ops have entered into merger discussions, which could result in a formal transfer of engagements during November.
Midlands Co-op currently trades across ten different counties and runs successful retail, travel, funeral and transport businesses with gross sales in excess of £ 749 million.
Ilkeston's principal activity is travel, with its travel business ranked as one of the largest independent travel companies in the UK, operating 42 branches throughout the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. It also operates a department store, two bedding stores, a banqueting suite and two car body shops.
Midlands Co-op Chief Executive John Fitzgerald said: "We are delighted to be in discussion with our neighbour, Ilkeston Co-op, and the prospect of trading co-operatively is logical in the current economic climate."
Ilkeston Co-op Chief Executive Tony Teatum commented: "A merger with Midlands Co-op makes strategic sense, although understandably there is a sense that we have reached the end of an era.
Midlands Co-op is a very large, financially sound neighbouring co-op, whose plans and aspirations meet with the long-term interests of Ilkeston Co-op."
The Board of Ilkeston Co-op will make a recommendation to its members that the merger should go ahead at a special meeting to be held on 6 September. This will be followed by a second confirmatory meeting on 27 September.
Should members vote in favour of the merger, completion of the transfer of engagements could be completed in early November.