Morrisons has won the battle to buy out McColl’s chain of stores from abroad in a deal that will protect 16,000 jobs.

I got into a chain of stores administration on Fridaywhich calls into question the future of employees in 1160 stores.

On Monday, PricewaterhouseCoopers administrators confirmed that Morrisons had fought off the EG Group, which also owns Asda, to negotiate a deal to buy McColl’s.

Rob Lewis, co-administrator of PwC, said the deal would provide “much-needed confidence” for McCall’s staff.

In addition to saving thousands of jobs, the sale includes a commitment to save McCall’s pension schemes, which will be handed over to Morrison.

Trusted schemes feared that depositors could lose after the administration. They called on Quasi Quarteng, the business secretary, to do everything he could to ensure that members of the scheme were well protected.

They warned that breaking the link between the schemes and the sponsoring company would be a “serious breach” of the promises made to staff.

McCall entered the administration on Friday after talks with creditors failed. Lenders declined to extend the term for the seller to find more cash.

Morrisons, which is McColl’s main wholesale partner and lender, has unveiled a recent attempt to buy the business.

However, creditors preferred a competing bid from EG Group, which guaranteed that McCall’s debts would be repaid immediately in full.

Morrisons has now raised its own offer to meet EG’s debt repayment obligations.

In a statement after the deal was announced, Morrisans said, “secured creditors and preferential creditors will be paid in full with a distribution that is also expected by unsecured creditors.”

Initially, Morrison promised to keep only the “vast majority” of jobs and stores, but perfected this offer during the auction.

“All McCall’s colleagues will be handed over with McCall Morrison’s business,” the supermarket said Monday.

Morrisons CEO David Potts said: “While we are disappointed that the business has been transferred to management, we believe it is a good outcome for McColl’s and all of its stakeholders. This deal provides stability and continuity for McColl’s business and in particular the best outcome for its colleagues and retirees.

“We are all looking forward to the opportunity to welcome many new colleagues into the Morrisons business and build on the proven strength of the Morrisons Daily format.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/mccolls-morrisons-latest-jobs-b2074626.html

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