Morrisons rescues McColl's from administration as 16,000 jobs saved

The supermarket chain beat petrol station owners EG Group to the takeover of the convenience store.

Morrisons rescues McColl’s from administration as 16,000 jobs at newsagents saved Google Maps
McColl's collapsed into administration on Friday.

Supermarket giant Morrisons has won a takeover battle for collapsed retailer McColl’s after it tumbled into administration.

All 16,000 staff at the convenience store will keep their positions while the new owners will also take on two pension schemes operated by the firm.

Petrol station firm EG Group launched a rival bid following the announcement that more than 1,100 branches of the newsagent were at risk on Friday.

Both Morrisons and EG – whose owners also operate rival chain Asda – submitted final offers for the brand on Sunday.

The PA news agency reported Morrisons had upgraded its original bid to include the salvation of all jobs rather than the “vast majority” initially proposed.

Lenders will also have around £160m in cash repaid from debt incurred by McColl’s as part of the settlement.

Morrisons is currently McColl’s wholesale supply partner and was expected to immediately terminate its deal with the convenience chain if the takeover move proved unsuccessful

McColl’s already operates around 270 stores under the Morrisons Daily brand.

Chief executive David Potts added: “Although we are disappointed that the business was put into administration, we believe this is a good outcome for McColl’s and all its stakeholders. This transaction offers stability and continuity for the McColl’s business and, in particular, a better outcome for its colleagues and pensioners.

“We all look forward to welcoming many new colleagues into the Morrisons business and to building on the proven strength of the Morrisons Daily format.”

McColl’s roots trace back to Glasgow in 1901, when Scottish football player Robert Smyth McColl founded the first shop in Glasgow along with his brother Tom.

The business began in 1973 as a vending machine operator before it went on to purchase several convenience store chains.

After purchasing Martin’s chain of newsagents in 1998 it became the largest neighbourhood retailer in the UK.

In 2000, it switched its operations to focus solely on retail, rather than vending machines.

In its 121-year history, the prominent retailer grew to over 1000 convenience stores across the UK.