Musgrave to buy Superquinn?
Rumours abound today that the giant Cork wholesaler, Musgrave, is in the process of preparing a bid to buy the Superquinn chain of supermarkets.
There has been incessant speculation over the last week or so that Superquinn was up for sale.
The chain, founded in Dundalk in 1960 by Senator Fergal Quinn, operates 20 supermarkets and 3 convenience stores.
It was reported by the Evening Echo in Cork today that Musgrave is among a list of six potential suitors that includes UK supermarket giants Asda and Sainsbury, both of whom operate already in Northern Ireland but have yet to enter the market in the Republic.
Tesco, who have an estimated 26% share of the Irish grocery market, has indicated they are not interested in a buy-out of rival Superquinn.
The rest of the market is carved out between SuperValu (20%), the independent chain supplied by Musgrave, Dunnes Stores (24%), Aldi and Lidl with a combined share of 14%, with the rest of the market divided among various other smaller retail chains.
Musgrave said they had “no comment” to make on the speculation they were in the running to buy Superquinn, when contacted today.
Simon Burke, CEO of Superquinn, today denied that the owners SRH had put the chain up for sale although he admitted that there had been several approaches from interested parties.
Mr Burke said the management team was confident and excited about Superquinn’s prospects, as it had been trading very well. He would not comment on the report that a value of €250m to €300m was being put on the company.
The Musgrave rational?
Musgrave, who have about 20% of the retail market in Ireland with the Supervalu and Centra brands would benefit greatly from a stronger presence in the Dublin market where they are relatively weak especially since losing some major franchisees to ADM-Londis and BWG-EuroSpar in the last few years.
Superquinn have been upgrading their stores in recent times, and would fit nicely alongside outlets of the high standard of some supervalu outlets like Supervalu Clonakilty
Musgrave’s HQ is located near Cork Airport, facilitating easy senior management access to the Dublin market.