BRITAIN'S two biggest independent retail societies look certain to expand through mergers in the next few months.
Sheffield Co-op members have already given the proposed merger with United Co-operatives a massive thumbs-up, while Ilkeston Society's assimilation into Midlands Co-op needs only to be ratified by the Financial Services Authority with an official transfer of engagements scheduled for early next month.
Following an 87% vote in favour by Sheffield Society members in an initial ballot, a confirmatory meeting will be held next Tuesday (October 17th).
If a straight majority approve the proposal then, the merger is set to become effective at the end of January. Sheffield Co-op has a turnover of £ 92 million and employs 1,200 staff, while Rochdale-based United has a turnover of over £ 2 billion and employs 16,000 staff.
*Further coverage in the next edition of Co-op News available from Tuesday (Oct 17th).