Somerfield drafts in Gainsborough after delisting

Somerfield has dropped Cardew Group and signed up Gainsborough Communications following its acquisition by a private equity-backed consortium last month.

The supermarket's new chairman, John Lovering, brought in Gainsborough co-founders Andy Cornelius and Duncan Murray this month after the group was taken private and its shares delisted from the London Stock Exchange.

The move effectively eliminated Cardew's financial comms role, which it held for two years.

Lovering, who failed to  take over the group in 2003, was installed as chairman when a consortium comprising Apax Partners Worldwide, Barclays Capital and Techenguiz Family Trust bought Somerfield for £1.1bn on 21 December 2005.

The acquisition marked the end of a protracted battle for the UK's fifth-largest grocer, which began with an approach from Icelandic venture capital group Baugur last February.

United Co-operative and London & Regional Properties also expressed an initial interest, but both subsequently dropped out of the running.

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