Nisa, which is in the process of negotiating a possible £130m takeover by Sainsbury’s, has reportedly denied 280 head office staff their annual bonus, despite hitting targets.
The employees at Nisa’s Scunthorpe office were told there would be no bonus payment this year, even though they met their full-year performance targets and Nisa grew its underlying profit by 18% to £8.6m.
According to The Guardian, the board’s decision to not pay the discretionary bonus has dented company morale. Last year Nisa staff shared a £2.2m pot, which included a £300k bonus for chief executive Nick Read.
Retail Week understands that the board, which is member dominated, has decided not to pay bonuses to anyone this year, nor pay any dividends to members either.
C-store operators have come under the spotlight since Tesco launched a bid to acquire the wholesaler behind Londis and Budgens, Booker.
Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s biggest rival, since made its swoop for Nisa so as to bolster its own convenience credentials – a fierce battleground for grocers as customers shun the weekly shop for more frequent trips.
As the takeover progresses, Sainsbury’s is understood to have held talks last week with Nisa’s biggest client, McColl’s.
Nisa has multiple supply contracts with McColl’s, accounting for just over a third of its sales.
Some of these contracts run until 2020. However, one of its agreements to supply McColl’s is shortly up for renewal, meaning a rival could swoop in.
Losing out would be a blow to Nisa, but not a deal-breaker as Sainsbury’s £130m is not conditional on Nisa retaining the contract.
Reports suggest Sainsbury’s could sign a £2bn deal to supply McColl’s itself.
It is hoped that Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe will shed more light on the Nisa deal when he updates the City on first-quarter trading this Tuesday.