British retailer Tesco pays a record £630 million to buyout the Quinnsworth and Crazy Prices supermarket chains.

The largest deal in the history of Tesco will see Quinnsworth and Crazy Prices keep their names with Chairman Don Tidey and Chief Executive Maurice Pratt staying on as part of the new business. Maurice Pratt says

This is a classic example of a case where a very successful business has been acquired.

The deal means that Tesco now has a 25 per cent share of the retail food market in the Republic of Ireland. The deal also includes Stewarts in Northern Ireland. In all, Tesco has acquired access to sales worth £1.5 billion a year.

Terry Leahy, Chief Executive with Tesco, comments on the opportunities that the new deal offers Irish suppliers. However, Brendan Butler of the Irish Small Firms Association is more sceptical and says that the Irish competitive position with the UK is very poor.

Owen Nulty of Mandate says that Tesco have provided assurances that there will be no job losses as a result of the takeover.

There's little doubt that this deal will change the face of Irish food retailing. Tesco now faces Dunnes and Superquinn in a battle for supremacy.

Increased competition should benefit the consumer in terms of pricing but suppliers are wondering at what cost.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 21 March 1997. The reporter is Peter Cluskey.