Morrison saves McCall and his 16,000 employees from bankruptcy

British supermarket giant Morrisons has acquired British convenience store chain McCall’s to save its 16,000 employees and some 1,100 stores from bankruptcy, Sky News said on Monday.

In addition to job and store guarantees, Morrison’s offer, better than the previous bailout rejected on Friday, will also guarantee immediate repayment of all of McCall’s creditors and maintenance of his pension plan, Sky News reported, citing sources familiar with the conversation. Said happened. , Information was confirmed to AFP by a source familiar with the matter, according to which Morrison’s offer was in favor of the fact that Distribution Chain, one of McCall’s main creditors, would agree to forgo reimbursement of this debt. .

EG Group, which is related to the wealthy Issa brothers and investment fund TDR Capital, and which specifically owns service stations in the United Kingdom, continental Europe and the United States, was also interested in McCall. When contacted by PwC, the receiver firm of AFP, EG Group, Morrison and McCall declined to comment. McCall did not immediately respond.

McCall filed for receivership on Friday after failing to convince creditors to adopt an initial version of the rescue plan for Morrison, which already has more than 200 stores open in partnership with McCall and its main wholesaler. Happens also. McCall, whose sales had benefited from pub and restaurant closures at the height of the pandemic, saw a sharp deterioration in its financials last year, with revenue falling 11% in 2021.

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The chain of stores managed to raise £30 million in September, but has since struggled to finance itself. Its debt has grown by 8% last year to nearly £100 million. The company had attributed the problems to shortage of truck drivers and staff shortage, especially at distribution centres. These disruptions come as a result of spending cuts this year by consumers facing acute cost of living crisis.

Just before the bankruptcy filing was announced, the UK Markets Authority suspended McCall’s shares from the London Stock Exchange. He was still suspended shortly before 12:00 GMT on Monday.

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