The Co-operative Group has bought three Netto stores from Asda for an undisclosed sum.

The three stores in Birtley, Co Durham, Whalley Range, Manchester and Stanton Hill, Nottinghamshire are being disposed by Asda as part of its Office of Fair Trading review.

The sale is expected to be completed later this year.

The buy is part of Co-op’s plan to expand its 2,800-strong chain by 300 stores in the next three years. It wants to open 50 shops by the end of 2011.