M&S to ‘take control’ of food supply chain with Gist buyout

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced plans to acquire Gist, the primary logistics provider for M&S Food.

Gist currently provides the majority of M&S Food’s logistics services across a network of eight primary and 10 secondary distribution centres located in the UK and the Republic Ireland.

M&S said the move would accelerate its plans to modernise its food supply chain network in a bid to support growth.

The retailer has an existing higher cost legacy contract with the logistics business which expires in 2027.

The company's chief executive Stuart Machin said that the contract had limited M&S' growth and incentive to invest.

"The last two years have shown what can be achieved by working collaboratively alongside our partners at Gist," said Machin. "This has given me confidence that now is the time to take action and remove an impediment to our growth.

"We have therefore acted decisively to acquire Gist, taking control of our Food supply chain for the first time in our history. This is the first step in a multi-year plan which will transform the entire supply chain.”

The buyout will mean M&S will no longer have to pay contractual fees or costs, and will eliminate the need for implementation of aligned operational processes, said the company.

M&S is acquiring the entire share capital of Gist for £145 million.

A further £85 million plus interest will be added to the cost if M&S decided to sell off freehold properties owned by the logistics provider.

The could be an additional profit share from the disposal of these properties of up to £25 million plus interest.

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