Nisa CEO steps down

Wholesaler and drinks supplier Nisa Retail Limited has confirmed its CEO is stepping down as the company continues on-going acquisition negotiations with convenience retailer The Co-op, in a reported £140 million deal.

Nisa CEO Nick Read will step down after three years in the role which saw a turnaround in the business. He was brought on board the company in December 2014 to steady the ship following an unexpected loss, and along with CFO Robin Brown, took measures to shore up the business. Last year saw a reversal of the previous two years’s losses, with EBITDA up £7.3m, rising to £8.6m in 2017, and profits of £2.8 million.

Read described his time at the company as both “challenging and eventful”.

“I am proud of our collective success in turning the business round.  The return to profitable growth was key to creating the confidence that enabled a sustainable business model for the benefit of all Nisa members,” he said.

The wholesaler, which supplies stock and retail support to around 1,300 local retailers and 3,000 stores and off-licenses across the UK, under both the Nisa fascia and their own names, become the centre of interest after both The Co-op and Sainsbury’s expressed interest in buying it following the surprise announcement that Tesco was set to buy wholesaler Booker.

The Co-op emerged as the front-runner to buy the business in August after Sainsbury’s dropped out of the race, apparently due to concerns that the competition watchdog could intervene in the deal, following its ‘in depth” investigation of the Booker-Tesco deal. 

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