Ex-Londis shareholders defect to rival retailer

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The Independent Online

The two most vocal critics of Musgrave's £60m takeover of Londis, the convenience store group, yesterday voted with their feet by quitting to join a rival independent retailer.

The two most vocal critics of Musgrave's £60m takeover of Londis, the convenience store group, yesterday voted with their feet by quitting to join a rival independent retailer.

Adrian Costain and Kishor Patel, who spearheaded the Londis Shareholders Action Group's attempts to avoid being bought by Musgrave, are joining Nisa-Today's, the mutually-owned buying group.

The move will cost the pair almost £16,000 each - the value of the second windfall due to all Londis shareholders still with Musgrave next August. Along with some 1,900 other Londis shareholders, they received the first tranche of the payout earlier this week. Nisa-Today's does not intend to compensate any former Londis shareholders.

Messrs Costain and Patel's decision to leave means the loss of five shops for Ireland's Musgrave. It was prompted by their desire to remain part of a mutual. Both men believe mutuals are better placed to withstand the encroaching might of supermarket giants such as Tesco when it comes to independent convenience store retailing.

Mr Costain, who has a 2,200 sq ft store, said: "Mutuality delivers the best model to create value for independent retailers." Mr Patel, who owns stores in the South-east, said being part of Nisa-Today's would enable him to "increase the competitive edge" of his business.

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