Morrisons has put forward a last-minute rescue deal for convenience retailer McColl’s.
The two companies are already partners, with McColl’s operating more than 200 smaller shops under the Morrisons Daily brand.
McColl’s warned on Thursday that was on the verge of calling in administrators unless it secured more funding.
According to Sky News, under the proposal Morrisons would take on the convenience store chain’s £170m debt and protect its pension scheme. The deal would also secure the majority of its 1,100 stores and 16,000 employees.
This would represent a substantial financial commitment for Morrisons and its new owner, private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice.
Morrisons and McColl’s signed an agreement in 2017 which involved Morrisons being the chain’s sole supplier for grocery products, including the relaunched Safeway brand.
Morrisons’ previous convenience store business, M Local, came to an end in 2015.
If McColl’s goes into administration it would be the biggest insolvency in the UK retail sector by size of workforce since the collapse of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group in 2020.