Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has requested an urgent meeting with the Musgrave Group to discuss the impact of its proposed acquisition of Superquinn on the Northern Ireland supply chain.
Superquinn, a major Republic of Ireland owned supermarket chain which went into receivership earlier this week, had a long history of sourcing produce from Northern Ireland suppliers. It was announced last week that the business had been purchased by the Musgrave Group, subject to the approval of The Competition Authority in Ireland.
Arlene Foster said: “Many local companies had forged a strong and productive relationship with Superquinn over several years, becoming a key part of the retailer’s supply chain.
“I understand that as a result of the acquisition a number of Northern Ireland companies are now unlikely to receive full payment for goods provided over the past 90 days.
“To help minimise any such losses, I will urge Musgrave to maintain relationships with Northern Ireland suppliers and further explore the wide range of high quality, award winning produce available here.
“Musgrave already operates a range of successful retail brands, including SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Budgens and Londis in GB, and Dialprix in Spain. The Superquinn acquisition will see Musgrave increase its market share in the Republic of Ireland.
“To ensure that our food and drink processing companies can become part of this highly lucrative supply chain, I have requested that Invest Northern Ireland further increases its engagement with the Musgrave Group so that it can fully assist local companies who are seeking to advance trading opportunities across the Musgrave portfolio.”
The Minister added: “The food and drink sector is one of our most successful and productive manufacturing industries so it is important that all efforts are made to sustain its future growth and success.”