Co-op plans to divest 300 stores

14 April 2016 (Last Updated April 14th, 2016 18:30)

The Co-op has appointed investment bank Rothschild to look for buyers for approximately 300 stores, as part of its efforts to raise cash to fund store renovations and reduce its debt.

The Co-op has appointed investment bank Rothschild to look for buyers for approximately 300 stores, as part of its efforts to raise cash to fund store renovations and reduce its debt.

Last week, the firm had reported that its sales of convenience stores had grown by 3.8% in the year to January.

The chain had then revealed that it intends to divest 100 outlets, refurbish 150 outlets and invest around £45m in reducing prices as part of a turnaround strategy this year.

"The chain has already divested its pharmacy, farms and retained only 20% interest in Co-op Bank."

However, the firm now seems to have increased the number of stores it plans to sell.

The Guardian reported that My Local, and Hilco and Gordon Brothers are among those considered to be potential bidders in acquiring 36 stores and another 50 other non-trading locations.

The chain has already divested its pharmacy, farms and retained only 20% interest in Co-op Bank.

These divestments were done as part of a restructing strategy implemented by CEO Richard Pennycook, following the almost collapse of the firm in 2013. During the same year, the company reported a £2.5bn loss.