McColl’s boss quits amid battle to secure chain’s future

The convenience store chain’s chief executive, Jonathan Miller, has stepped down as it remains in talks to source vital funding to prevent collapse.

Holly Williams
Thursday 24 March 2022 08:22 GMT
The boss of McColl’s has stepped down (Mike Abrahams/McColl’s/PA)
The boss of McColl’s has stepped down (Mike Abrahams/McColl’s/PA) (PA Media)

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The boss of struggling convenience store chain McColl’s has stepped down as it battles to secure its future.

The embattled group, which employs around 16,000 people, said Jonathan Miller has quit after 30 years with the firm, including six years at the helm.

Non-executive chairman Angus Porter has taken on the role of executive chairman until a successor to Mr Miller is appointed, with chief operating officer Karen Bird becoming interim chief executive to manage the day-to-day responsibilities.

It comes as McColl’s remains in talks with lenders to secure vital funding, while working with advisers to find a buyer or a third party willing to inject fresh cash.

The firm received a takeover approach a month ago from petrol station giant EG Group, but those discussions ended.

Supermarket Morrisons – which runs its Morrisons Daily convenience stores in partnership with McColl’s – is now said to have drafted in City advisers as it considers how to deal with the financial struggles of McColl’s.

Morrisons has appointed investment bank Houlihan Lokey to look at options for its exposure to McColl’s, according to the Sky News report earlier this week.

McColl’s said it remains in “ongoing dialogue with its lenders towards a longer-term agreement in relation to the balance of its existing facility and continues to believe that a financing solution will be found that involves its existing partners and stakeholders”.

Angus Porter, executive chairman of McColl’s, said: “As we discuss with our stakeholders the transformation of our business to a grocery-led convenience offer, Jonathan and the board have agreed that now is the right time to bring in a new chief executive to lead the business into a new phase.

“In the meantime, we have a strong management team in place to take the business forward, and we are confident in our strategy to capitalise on the opportunity in the convenience sector in the years ahead.”

Mr Miller said: “It has been an enormous privilege to work for McColl’s for the last 30 years, most recently leading the business and transforming our offer in partnership with Morrisons.”

He added he will remain a “significant” shareholder in the group.

McColl’s said it was confident of appointing a new chief executive “in the near future”.

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