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Britain's Co-op in exclusive takeover talks for wholesaler Nisa

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Britain's Co-op in exclusive takeover talks for wholesaler Nisa

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LONDON (Reuters) – Co-operative Group <42TE.L> is in exclusive talks to buy Nisa, entering the fray days after larger rival Sainsbury’s <SBRY.L> suspended its own bid talks for the wholesale group. Britain’s biggest retailers have set their sights on operators within the fast-growing convenience store sector after Tesco <TSCO.L> agreed to buy Booker <BOK.L> for 3.7 billion pounds ($4.8 billion). Sainsbury’s, the country’s second largest supermarket, said on Aug. 15 it had suspended bid talks with Nisa until the regulator gave its verdict on the Tesco-Booker deal, leaving the door open to the Co-op. In a letter to shareholders, Nisa said it had granted the Co-op a period of exclusive access to its books from Wednesday. “Thereafter, and subject to the results of the due diligence, it is anticipated that the Co-op could be in a position to make a final offer to the members for your consideration,” Nisa Chairman Peter Hartley said. Nisa’s members operate almost 2,500 retail stores around the country.

($1 = 0.7735 pounds) (Reporting by Fanny Potkin)
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