Co-op Atlantic votes to sell grocery business to Sobeys

Co-op store delegates voted Tuesday in favour of selling Co-op Atlantic's grocery and gas business to Sobeys.
The Co-op Queen Street Food Market in Charlottetown is one of three on P.E.I. with an uncertain future as Co-op Atlantic votes to sell its grocery and gas business to Sobeys. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Co-op Atlantic store delegates voted Tuesday in favour of selling Co-op Atlantic's grocery and gas business to Sobeys.

Co-op Atlantic spokesperson Mike Randall told CBC News more than 150 delegates from around Atlantic Canada were involved in the vote.

"Member-owners voted overwhelmingly in favour of accepting the board's recommendation to exit from the food and gas business and to proceed with the proposed sale of assets to Sobeys," said Randall.

"There are a number of factors that still have to be addressed. The deal has to be finalized, it has to be approved by the Competition Bureau, so until that's done there is no final decision."

Randall said closing the deal could take up to two months, and no details will be released until that happens.

The assets being offered to Sobeys include the Co-op wholesale business as well as five corporately-owned Co-op Atlantic grocery stores in the region. Four other corporate stores aren't part of the deal, making their future uncertain.

Co-op has not identified which stores are part of the deal.

P.E.I. has three corporate stores — two in Charlottetown and one in North Rustico — and it's not clear how these stores will be affected.

Most Co-op grocery stores in the region are independently owned. If the Sobeys deal is approved those stores will have to find new wholesale suppliers.


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