Musgrave Group statement in response to shareholders’ decision to withdraw Examinership petition

Musgrave Group notes the withdrawal of High Court proceedings to place Superquinn in Examinership. 

Musgrave believes that its agreement on terms to purchase Superquinn, which is subject to regulatory approval, is the best available option for the business. The transaction will secure the long term viability of the business, protect jobs and ensure that Irish consumers can continue to enjoy the Superquinn product offer.

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10 million Euro fund set up for Superquinn suppliers

Since reaching agreement with the Joint Receivers on terms to purchase Superquinn, Musgrave and the Joint Receivers have engaged extensively with Superquinn suppliers and their representatives. Musgrave and the banks are aware of the challenges faced by suppliers and today (July 27th 2011) a fund has been set up to help suppliers who have experienced losses as a result of the receivership of Superquinn.  The fund is fully supported by Musgrave and by the syndicate of banks to Superquinn (Bank of Ireland, NIB and AIB) and will be administered by the Joint Receivers of Superquinn.

Monies in the fund will amount to €10 million and will be made up of a financial commitment from Musgrave and from monies generated during the course of the Receivership. It is anticipated that the creation of the fund will result in all trade creditors whose losses are not covered by credit insurance recovering between 65%-70% of their losses as a result of the Superquinn receivership.

The availability of the fund to suppliers is contingent on the successful purchase of Superquinn by Musgrave. Payments out of the fund will commence as soon as the purchase process which is subject to Competition Authority approval is complete. In the intervening period, Musgrave continues to work closely with suppliers and is providing them with the opportunity to access its SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak stores.

To facilitate access to its store network, Musgrave has set up a helpline number for small Irish suppliers impacted by the events of the past week at Superquinn, which was activated this week. The helpline number is 1890 80 40 49 and further details can be found on the Musgrave website.

Commenting, Chris Martin, CEO of Musgrave said: “We are aware of the financial challenges currently being experienced by certain suppliers. This fund, in addition to access to our store network, will limit the exposure of these suppliers and will assist those companies that are in distress. 

The purchase of Superquinn secures the jobs of 2,800 people. On completion of the sale Musgrave intends to invest in the stores and work with all Superquinn employees to develop the future of the business. Musgrave is committed to providing existing Superquinn suppliers with the opportunity to continue to supply Superquinn stores.

Eamonn Richardson, Joint Receiver to Superquinn added,“We have committed substantial support to suppliers in the last week and accelerated payments in order to address their concerns. The introduction of this fund will considerably reduce the exposure for suppliers. We will continue to work closely with the supplier base over the next number of weeks and would like to sincerely thank them for their support and for working with us over the past number of days.

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Musgrave to provide access to its store network to small Superquinn suppliers

Musgrave Group Plc (Musgrave) today announced that it has established an initiative to assist small Irish suppliers that are impacted by the events of the past week at Superquinn. From tomorrow [Monday, 25th July], Musgrave will provide small Irish suppliers with access to their retail network, which includes SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak stores.

Musgrave is particularly concerned about small Irish suppliers impacted as a result of the events of the past week at Superquinn and understands both their cash flow challenges and their fears for the sustainability of their businesses.  

To that end, a team has been established within Musgrave, which small Superquinn suppliers can contact via telephone or by email, with a view to discussing opportunities to supply the Musgrave network of SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak stores. The contact details are as follows:

Email: group@Musgrave.ie
LoCall Telephone: 1890 80 40 49 (please note this number will be active from 9am Monday 25th July)

Commenting, Musgrave Group Plc CEO Chris Martin said, “While Musgrave does not own the Superquinn business, we will endeavour to do as much as we can to assist any small Irish suppliers that are negatively impacted by this process. A strong commitment to Irish suppliers is at the heart of the Musgrave business model. 75% of products on the shelves of SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak stores are sourced or produced in Ireland which is worth €2.9 billion to the Irish economy every year. This helps to maintain and protect 14,000 jobs across 600 supplier companies.” 

He continued, “We understand the immediacy of the challenges certain small suppliers are facing. To that end, we will now engage with any small Irish supplier who wishes to meet with us, to understand the challenges they are faced with, and to provide all possible assurances around continuity of supply in the longer term and in the short term access to our retailer network. We are also in ongoing contact with large suppliers who, like smaller suppliers, will be given the opportunity to continue to supply Superquinn once we complete its purchase which is subject to Competition Authority approval.

The small supplier access initiative will focus on credit terms, forward purchasing commitments and advice and support on leveraging Musgrave’s entire brand network of stores and market footprint.

The supplier support initiative is in line with Musgrave Group Plc’s current commitment to the Irish supply chain. Each year, Musgrave’s dealings with Irish suppliers deliver €2.9 billion to the Irish economy, maintaining and protecting 300,000 jobs across the food, retail and agriculture industry.
Further details on the programme are available at www.musgravegroup.com

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Musgrave Group plc confirms intention to purchase Superquinn business

Musgrave Group plc (Musgrave) has reached an agreement with the Joint Receivers on terms to purchase the Superquinn business. The transaction will secure the long term viability of the Superquinn business, protect jobs and ensure that Irish consumers can continue to enjoy the Superquinn product offer.  Superquinn will remain under the management of the Joint Receivers pending regulatory approval and the completion of the transaction.

Musgrave, which is an Irish family owned company, will use its significant brand expertise to develop the Superquinn business by investing in the stores and bringing value to the Superquinn shopper.

Musgrave, which already operates a range of successful retail brands including SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak in Ireland, Budgens and Londis in Great Britain and Dialprix in Spain, has extensive brand building experience all of which will be applied to benefit the future of the Superquinn brand in Ireland.

Superquinn has been challenged by the scale of its debt burden and the difficult trading environment. This purchase secures the jobs of 2,800 people and on completion of the sale process, Musgrave intends to invest in the stores and work with the Superquinn employees to develop the future of the business.

Musgrave already has a strong commitment to Irish suppliers which helps support 14,000 jobs across 600 supplier companies and contributes €2.9 billion to the Irish economy. Musgrave is committed to providing existing Superquinn suppliers with the opportunity to continue to supply Superquinn stores.

Commenting Chris Martin, CEO, Musgrave said; “Having come to this agreement with the Joint Receivers, we are excited by this opportunity. 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.”

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Centra announced as first retailer to accept contactless payments

Centra, Ireland’s leading network of convenience stores, has announced that they will become the first Irish retailer to embrace contactless payments, with nearly one million new contactless enabled Visa Debit cards due to be issued to Irish consumers from late 2011. The ‘contactless’ technology will allow customers to purchase items of €15 or under in less than a second, by simply waving their card in front of the card terminal to make payment.

The new technology will see Centra customers able to take advantage of shorter queues and not have to find change in their pockets, due to the prospect of faster transactions because of contactless payments. Contactless payments will be accepted in selected stores in late 2011, before being rolled out across the rest of Centra’s network of 464 stores in 2012.

Commenting on the announcement, Tara Clifford, Centra Marketing Manager, said, “With the launch of contactless payments, paying for your cup of coffee in the morning or a sandwich for lunch will be easier and faster than ever. Centra is delighted to be leading the introduction of contactless payment technology in the Irish market.  As the number one convenience store in Ireland, we are committed to investing in innovation which will ensure we continue to provide the best service to our loyal customers.

Lewis Nolan, VP, Market Development, Mobile and Contactless at Visa Europe, said, “It is fantastic to announce Centra as our first retail partner for the launch of contactless payments in Ireland later this year.  Irish consumers and retailers will now also see the significant benefits that contactless payments bring in terms of speed, convenience and security. Contactless has already taken off across Europe, with 20 million cards currently in use by consumers.

Ireland has the highest usage of ATMs in Europe and in 2010 consumers withdrew in the region of €5,000 per capita from ATMs. The move towards contactless is aligned to the Government’s National Payments Plan to help towards reducing cash and paper based transactions and promote electronic transactions.

Contactless payment is a feature that can be incorporated onto debit and credit cards that allows customers to pay for everyday items up to a value of €15 at point-of-sale, simply by holding their card or phone over a wireless reader or screen without the need to enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Transactions take place in less than a second giving retailers and consumers speed and convenience without the need of handling cash. As with all payment devices, contactless cards have a number of security features as well as the €15 payment limit on single transactions.

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Budgens gets fish from sea to shelf in less than 36 hours

Budgens is guaranteeing fresh fish into stores less than 36 hours after being caught in the sea in its latest category development initiative to differentiate Budgens from the competition.  The 36-hour promise beats the supermarkets and demonstrates Budgens’ commitment to ‘real food for today’s communities’ in providing the freshest fish to market.

The ‘catch of the day’ initiative, which launched with plaice and Torbay sole, combines innovation with tradition as Budgens brings fish back to Fridays.  Having been caught in small fishing boats in Cornish waters in the early hours of Thursday morning, the fish is bought from the local fishermen at Looe Market at 6.30am, then packaged and en route to the nine trial stores, via the group’s depot in Wellingborough, by 10.30am ready to be sold Friday morning.

By developing relationships with local fishermen, and selling and promoting these more diverse fish in contrast to the more usual cod and haddock, Budgens is helping to protect the fisheries and promote sustainability.

To add theatre in store, the fish is displayed on a stand alone chiller or dedicated section of a chiller featuring a pre-printed ‘catch of the day’ header board with space below for the retailer to chalk up details of the catch of the day.  And to bring the fixture alive, retailers are provided with scallop shells, lemons, lime, samphire, fish stock and hollandaise sauce for decoration.  And, for customers wondering what dish to create with the fish once they’ve bought it, cooking instructions and recipes are also included in the point of sale.

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Daybreak opens 16 new stores so far in 2011

Daybreak continues to attract new retailers into the group and so far 2011 has been a successful year, with 16 new stores joining the brand.

The new stores were opened across the country with stores in Dublin, Cork, Meath, Tipperary, Kildare, Mayo, Clare and Roscommon.

The Daybreak brand continues to grow from strength to strength and offers real value for money partnerships to today’s independent retailers, from low development costs to exceptional promotional offers.

Daybreak continues to be seen as the right choice for independent retailers and brand loyalty amongst its store owners is 100% which is evident in the fact that no stores have left the Daybreak brand in 2010 or 2011 to move to competitor symbols, in fact the brand has attracted new retailers from these competitors over the course of the last 2 years.

Commenting on the new store openings, Delivered Retail Director Paul Kerrigan said, “2011 is proving to be another successful year for Daybreak, with the addition of 16 new stores to the Daybreak group, re-enforcing the Daybreak brand positioning and offering to Independent retailers, who benefit from a partnership that offers first class support and a low cost model that allows our Daybreak retailers to succeed in the current economic environment”.

Daybreak is on track to open 35 new stores in 2011 and is in a strong position to continually build on this success in the future.

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