Sainsbury’s hits the pause button on Nisa takeover


With the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) still investigating the proposed Tesco/Booker merger, Sainsbury’s have decided to halt discussions with Nisa until the ramifications of the deal are clearer.

According to the Telegraph, Sainsbury’s do not want to become embroiled in their own CMA review until they more fully understand the outcomes of the Tesco/Booker merger.

In June, Sainsbury’s revealed they had put in a £130m bid for Nisa, a wholesaler and symbol group owned by its members. The move came in response to the news that the UK’s largest supermarket Tesco and the UK’s largest wholesaler Booker were planning to join forces.

In January, the Tesco/Booker merger set the cat among the pigeons in the wholesaling sector and in response many grocery rivals have started to plan consolation moves of their own.

However, it remains unclear whether the CMA will let the merger go through and if they do what restrictions might be implement. The CMA is to rule on the takeover by October 26.

With the Co-op also circling Nisa, the wholesaler may have already been snapped up by the time Sainsbury’s decide whether they are happy to take the discussions further. Any decision taken by Nisa’s management team will have to be agreed to by its members.