Tesco Ireland has today announced a deal to buy ten Joyce's Supermarkets retail stores based in Galway for an undisclosed sum.

Tesco first entered the Irish market in 1997 and today's deal marks its first significant investment for a portfolio of supermarkets in Ireland during that time.

The supermarkets currently operate under the Joyce family's independent brand and will be rebranded and designed as Tesco stores during 2022 on a phased basis.

The acquisition is still subject to the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

The supermarket staff will become Tesco Ireland employees when the deal is complete.

As part of its commitment to Irish agri-food, Tesco also said it will engage with suppliers to the Joyce business to identify and develop opportunities.

Patrick C Joyce started the family business in Headford in 1951 with a small grocery store and followed this with a travelling shop and then developed into a general supermarket.

Pat Joyce took over the business in 1988 and since then nine more supermarkets have been opened in Knocknacarra, Athenry, Tuam, Inverin, Ballybane, Fr Griffin Road, Doughiska, Oranmore and Oughterard.

The group employs over 500 people.

Tesco Ireland chief executive Kari Daniels said the deal is part of the company's strategic ambition to bring its quality and value to more customers:

"I look forward to bringing Tesco to more communities in Galway in the year ahead - this agreement provides a great platform for us to bring our value, quality and range of products to more customers," Ms Daniels said.

"Pat Joyce, the management and wider team at Joyce's Supermarkets have built a fantastic business over many years and there are great aspects of the Joyce business that can complement our Tesco offering," she added.

Pat Joyce, Managing Director of Joyce's Supermarkets, said today's deal was a historic moment for his business.

"We have carefully considered the opportunity and are very pleased to pass our business on to an established brand in Tesco that promotes quality and excellence across its business, and which has an established presence in the Irish market," he said.

"Should this acquisition be approved, I believe the move will be of significant benefit to them, and I would look forward to continuing our work well into next year as part of a transition period," he added.

Tesco Ireland has 151 stores nationwide and five in Galway. It employs over 13,000 people in cities and towns around Ireland and partners with over 490 Irish suppliers