Co-operative Group to sell Somerfield properties to Hilco

3 May 2016 (Last Updated May 3rd, 2016 18:30)

The Co-operative Group in the UK has agreed to sell about 100 former properties in Somerfield to Food Retailer Group, which is part of retail investor Hilco.

The Co-operative Group in the UK has agreed to sell about 100 former properties in Somerfield to Food Retailer Group, which is part of retail investor Hilco.

As part of the transaction, the retailer will offload 36 trading shops and 60 empty stores, offices and garages.

The sale is slated for completion in July and represents another stage in the dismantling of Somerfield, which was acquired by Co-op in 2008.

"It is essential that we have a proactive property programme in place to support our long-term growth strategy and this sale aligns with that approach."

Following the acquisition, Co-op struggled under the weight of Somerfield's debt pile.

Two years back, the company wrote down the value of the store chain by £226m, which added to its worries.

The Telegraph reported Co-operative Group chief executive Steve Murrells saying: "The Co-op food business is moving forwards with a clear purpose and momentum, so we can deliver a compelling, convenient and co-operative shopping experience for millions of shoppers each day."

"It is essential that we have a proactive property programme in place to support our long-term growth strategy and this sale aligns with that approach."

The Co-operative Group has more than 70,000 employees across the UK and manages the Co-operative brand and The Co-operative Federal Trading Services, formerly the Co-operative Retail Trading Group, which sources and promotes goods for food stores of the co-operative movement.