Three Co-operative food stores in Hartlepool are being sold off to convenience retailer McColl's
The shops - in Elwick Road, Northgate, and Stockton Road - are among 298 Co-op stores being taken over.
The £117million deal will see McColl's substantially increase its existing portfolio of 933 convenience stores nationwide as it branches out into more fresh and chilled food products.
McColl's chief executive Jonathan Miller said: "I am delighted to announce the acquisition of 298 quality convenience stores in a transformational deal for McColl's.
"This opportunity substantially accelerates our growth strategy and expands our neighbourhood presence for the benefit of our customers.
“These stores are profitable, well invested, and the perfect size for our operating model. We expect the transaction to be significantly earnings enhancing for our shareholders.
“I look forward to welcoming all of our new colleagues to the business.”
The sale is subject to approval by McColl's shareholders and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
All stores will continue to trade immediately after the expected handover starting in November, and all staff will transfer to McColl’s.
The sale proceeds will be re-invested to further deliver the Co-op’s strategy, having opened 200 new stores in the last two years. It is also actively pursuing 100 new store acquisitions this year.
Co-op Food CEO Steve Murrells said: “The Co-op Food business continues to move forward with a clear momentum and purpose to deliver a compelling and convenient shopping experience for our millions of customers and members.
“Today’s announcement is completely in line with our strategy, as these stores did not allow us to provide a sufficiently compelling own-brand offer for our members going forwards. The proceeds will be re-invested to drive sustainable growth for our members and I’m delighted that all 3,808 colleagues will transfer to McColl’s on the same terms and conditions.”