Discount grocery retailer Ugo has been acquired by an unnamed retailer.
All 20 of the northern retailer’s stores will be bought by a “well established” fellow retailer on Friday, subject to legalities.
Owner of Ugo, Haldane Retail Group, put the chain up for sale in September. An initial partner had been found in September but pulled away from the deal on January 11, a day before the deadline for the acquisition.
Ugo chief executive Arthur Harris, who will leave the retailer following the deal, said he was “over the moon” to have secured the jobs of 350 staff through the deal although he admitted there will be a small number of head office casualties.
It is yet to be confirmed whether the Ugo brand will be retained by the new owner.
Harris admitted the chain had been “on the backfoot since day one” after sourcing too many mid-range products from buying partner Nisa Today’s rather than more discount products.
He added that the price war among the Big Four grocers had impacted the business as competition on low prices proved key. He said: “Asda have gone into bat against Tesco and that brought their prices down, hence we had them as competition.”
Ugo launched last year after the Haldane Retail Group acquired 20 stores across the M62 corridor Asda was forced to sell off as part of its £778m acquisition of Netto.
Last year, the group’s flagship brand Haldanes was forced to close after it went into administration, making 600 people redundant. The group’s bakery arm – Bakery Products – will continue to run under Harris with 13 stores and three large bakeries.
The position of Ugo managing director Mike Hinchcliffe remain unclear.