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    Co-operative Group to takeover Somerfield

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    The UK-based Co-operative Group has planned a complete takeover of its rival chain . The deal is estimated to be pegged at around £1.6 billion.

    The Somerfield deal will take Co-op’s portfolio to more than 3,100 supermarkets and convenience stores. The group will have almost 8 per cent of the market share, closing in on , which is the UK’s fourth biggest at present with an 11.5 per cent market share.

    Somerfield was put up for sale in January by a consortium led by private equity group Apax. At the time, it was hoped the sale would be worth about £2.5 billion, but the credit crunch had a serious impact on Somerfield’s sale price.

    About 120 Somerfield stores are expected to be offloaded to other supermarkets following the sale.