Musgrave acquires Joyce’s Supermarket in Oranmore from Tesco

Store to be operated as a SuperValu after competition watchdog raised concerns during vetting of €80m deal

Tesco Ireland has offloaded one of the nine Joyce’s Supermarket locations it acquired for more than €80 million last year to Musgrave to allay concerns outlined by the competition regulator last year.

Musgrave confirmed on Thursday that it had agreed to buy the supermarket in Oranmore, Co Galway for an undisclosed sum and planned to “transition the store in due course” to the SuperValu brand. The wholesale and supermarket group would operate the store as normal during the transition process, the Cork-headquartered group said, and would welcome the 44 people currently employed there once 30 days had elapsed under transfer of business rules.

The Irish Times understands the store will operate under the direct ownership of Musgrave but it could seek an independent retailer to operate the supermarket in the future, in line with its franchise operating model.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) launched a full investigation into Tesco’s proposed acquisition of the Joyce’s chain last year, ultimately clearing the deal in June 2022.


However, the commission required binding commitments from the British supermarket giant after raising concerns about the number of alternative effective competitor supermarkets that would be available to consumers in the Oranmore area following the acquisition.

Tesco at the time committed to selling Joyce’s Supermarket in Oranmore to a “suitable purchaser”, subject to CCPC approval.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Tesco Ireland said: “All employee roles are protected and will transfer to the new retailer. Tesco continues to focus on supporting employees and suppliers during this next phase of the transition and thanks them for their patience to date.”

Tesco paid €80.2 million in cash for the family-owned chain in Galway last year, according to accounts filed in September. The Joyce’s chain had been in operation in the county for more than 70 years.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times