Alcohol sales are expected to resume at McColl’s from tonight (Thursday), we learned. Stores are no longer able to offer alcohol to customers since Monday, May 9.
Alcohol sales were halted after Morrisons signed a deal to take over the struggling chain. McColl’s had to transfer each store’s liquor license after the takeover.
The transition meant that alcohol could not be sold, Gloucestershire reportsLive. But now Morrisons said he was working “at pace” to apply for all the appropriate licenses.
The supermarket chain has beaten EG Group in a battle to take over McColl’s. All of McColl’s jobs have been guaranteed by bosses as the company’s stores transfer to the new owner, while Morrisons will take over the company’s two pension schemes.
The convenience store fell under guardianship on Friday May 6, casting doubt on the future of its 1,160 businesses and 16,000 employees. It came after the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket chain and forecourt giant EG Group both tabled final offers on Sunday to secure a bailout deal for McColl’s.
EG – whose owners also run supermarket giant Asda – had initially been favorites to strike a bailout deal for McColl’s. Morrisons’ early approaches were reportedly rejected by lenders who preferred EG’s offer to instantly pay off more than £160m of McColl’s debt.
However, it is understood Morrisons’ successful move will also repay lenders in cash. In a statement after the deal was announced, it said “secured lenders and preferred creditors will be paid in full with a distribution also scheduled for unsecured creditors.”
Morrisons also originally offered to save only the “vast majority” of jobs and shops, but improved that offer during the bidding process. “All of McColl’s colleagues will be transferred with the McColl business to Morrisons,” the supermarket announced on Monday.
Morrisons chief executive David Potts said: “While we are disappointed the business has been placed into administration, we believe this is a good result for McColl’s and all of its stakeholders. This transaction provides stability and continuity for McColl’s business and, in particular, a better outcome for its colleagues and retirees.”
Morrisons is currently McColl’s wholesale supply partner and was to immediately terminate its deal with the convenience store chain if the takeover proves unsuccessful. McColl’s also operates around 270 stores under the Morrisons Daily brand.