Budgens owner to acquire Irish group

The Musgrave Group – owner of Budgens – is to buy Irish retailer Superquinn in a move that could save 2,800 jobs at the supermarket chain.

Superquinn was placed under the control of receivers on Monday, after amassing debts in the region of Eu400m (£350m), and will remain under their management until the agreement gets regulatory approval by competition authorities in Ireland.

If approved, Musgrave will become the third-largest supermarket group in the Dublin area, where the bulk of the Superquinn stores are based, behind Tesco and Dunnes.

Chris Martin, chief executive of Musgrave, said: “Purchasing Superquinn, when approved, supports our growth agenda and will sustain our competitiveness. We are looking forward to working with the Superquinn team to develop the future of the business.”

Musgrave has pledged to invest in the Superquinn stores. The family-owned group operates a range of retail outlets including SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak in Ireland, Budgens and Londis in Britain, and Dialprix in Spain.

Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson, of accountancy firm KPMG, were appointed joint receivers and managers to the Superquinn Group on Monday by Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and National Irish Bank. They said the group had been operating in a tough trading environment and had been heavily indebted because of property-related loans.

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