Transport and logistics group Bibby Line has acquired the remaining 49% share of Costcutter Supermarkets, and established a subsidiary Bibby Retail Services.
The group bought a 51% stake in the convenience retailer in 2007, and has set the group a 12-month deadline to decide how best to grow the business.
Costcutter’s management, who were previously shareholders, have signed new employment contracts to remain with the business. Colin Graves will continue as chairman of Costcutter in addition to his new role as chief executive of Bibby Retail Services.
Former Costcutter managing director Nick Ivel will become chief executive and will take control of the day-to-day running of the business.
Graves’ primary role is to identify new opportunities to deliver shareholder value for the long-term and better deals for the independent retail sector.
He said the company has four distribution options, which it is reviewing over the next six months: “First we stay as we are and deal with Nisa, or we do it ourselves – we have the volume to do it on our own. The third option is we jump into bed and set up a business operation with another partner or fourthly we buy someone – be it a retailer or a wholesaler.”
Costcutter’s existing deal with Nisa is due to expire in 2014. Graves said: “Nisa has a new contract on the table. We do not think it’s shark enough either for our members or ourselves. No one is looking to break away. Nisa is aware of the situation and we have thrown the contract back to them.”