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    Sainsbury Boosts Market Share with 24 Co-op C-stores

    The move comes at a time when other food retailers are suffering.

    LONDON -- Convenience and hypermarket retailer J Sainsbury plc acquired 24 stores yesterday from the Co-operative Group, in a move aimed at bolstering its U.K. grocery market share when many nonfood retailers are going bust, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

    Of the total, 22 are branded Somerfield and two are Co-operative-branded shops. The 1,400 store employees will also come across to Sainsbury, the news service reported.

    The purchase price was GBP83 million, and an additional GBP45 million will be spent on refurbishments and rebranding, some of which will feature the Sainsbury's Local banner, according to the report.

    Chief Executive Justin King indicated last year the retailer aimed to accelerate moves into the convenience store market. He described the latest acquisition as an "excellent addition" to the group's estate, the report stated.

    Completion of the deal, conditional on regulatory approvals, is expected in May. Store conversions will take two to three months, according to the report.

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