Group and United in merger talks

THE Co-operative Group and Britain&#039s biggest independent society, United Co-operatives, are in talks about merging the two societies. Formal discussions have already begun and the boards of both...

THE Co-operative Group and Britain&#039s biggest independent society, United Co-operatives, are in talks about merging the two societies.
Formal discussions have already begun and the boards of both societies are hoping for a positive outcome.
No timetable for the merger discussions is being revealed at this stage and, in a brief joint press release, the Group and United say a further statement will be issued when the discussions are concluded.
If successful, the merger will be the most far reaching in the history of the UK Co-operative Movement, eclipsing the millennium year coming together of CWS and CRS, which led to the formation of the Group.
The proposed new society would be the world&#039s seventh largest co-operative and mutual organisation and the largest consumer co-operative with a combined turnover of &#163 10bn, according to the Global 300 list compiled by the International Co-operative Alliance.
Although the announcement comes within months of United Chief Executive Peter Marks&#039 call for the Movement to "act as one" by creating a single national co-op, it is being emphasised by all sides that no other independent societies are involved in the current discussions. Further coverage in the Co-op News, published 12th December.

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