Store avoids takeover

IT’S business as usual for a Hartlepool store after it avoided a takeover deal involving 19 others in its group.

The Anglia Co-operative Society has reached a conditional agreement for JE Beale PLC to acquire the Westgate department store business chain.

Beale will operate from 19 of the 23 stores in the group and the deal is likely to complete by the end of May.

But four Westgate stores will not be included in the transaction and they include the branch in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, in Hartlepool.

Others to avoid the changeover are based in March, in Cambridgeshire, Scunthorpe, and Blyth, in Northumberland.

Bosses say Anglia Co-operative will have a significant investment interest in the enlarged Beales department store group.

They say the society will be in a better position to invest in areas such as food, travel and furniture.

Chief executive John Chillcott said: “The society is pleased to have secured the future of the majority of Westgate Department stores.”