Co-op Atlantic will sell its retail, gas and wholesaling assets to Sobeys under a proposed deal supported by the cooperative’s board of directors.
Co-op Atlantic is a member-owned cooperative of around 170 independent grocery stores based in Moncton, New Brunswick, with stores doing business under the Co-op, Valufoods, Village Mart and Rite Stop banners. Its board said it has recommended its member owners approve the takeover following an operational and financial review which determined that this is the best course of action for long-term viability of member-owners. A purchase price was not disclosed.
"Co-op Atlantic and its member-co-operatives have worked hard to remain viable in the increasingly competitive world of retail food and gas," Co-op Atlantic board chair Adélard Cormier said in a statement. "This decision has been a difficult one for management and the board but is, we believe, the best option for the continued viability of the member-owner stores and the co-operative movement in Atlantic Canada."
The proposed purchase and sales arrangement would see Sobeys purchase the majority of the corporate food and gas retail sites and wholesale assets. Co-op is recommending its owner-members negotiate wholesale supply agreements with Sobeys to ensure their long-term success moving forward. Those potential agreements will be decided by each member-owned store in discussions with Sobeys.
The deal would strengthen Sobeys’ leading retail and wholesaling position in the Atlantic provinces. Sobeys, based in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, had no immediate comment. Co-op owners have until May 12 to vote on the recommendation.
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