Costcutter Supermarkets Group has been acquired by financial services and shipping group Bibby Line Group, which already had a 51% stake in the retailer.
Bibby Line has acquired the remaining 49% of the shares and established subsidiary Bibby Retail Services in the process.
Bibby Line, led by Sir Michael Bibby, hopes to increase buying power and economies of scale through acquisition.
Colin Graves remains chairman at Costcutter, with managing director Nick Ivel appointed chief executive.
Graves said the company has a number of options that it is reviewing over the next six months. These include continuing its existing buying partnership with Nisa Today, creating its own buying arm, to “jump into bed with another buying partner” or acquire another retailer or wholesaler.
Graves will look carefully at each option over the next six months and Costcutter will look to make a decision in the next 12 months.
The deal follows lengthy conjecture over Costcutter’s deal with Nisa, which is due to expire in 2014. Graves said: “Nisa have a new contract on the table. We do not think it’s sharp enough either for our members or ourselves. No one is looking to break away. Nisa are aware of the situation and we have thrown [the contract] back to them.”
Bibby Line had intended to complete the purchase of Costcutter in April at the end of the financial year but moved the news forward to clarify the situation and speed up a decision on its future.