The Essex-based Martin McColl keeps countless Britons in groceries, newspapers, stamps and lottery tickets with its network of 850 newsagents and 400 convenience stores. The company was created in 1998 when Forbuoys acquired Martin Retail Group. The following year it launched the McColl’s brand, which can now be found across the country. Its outlets range from small neighbourhood stores to mini-supermarkets and hospital kiosks. In September 2005, chairman James Lancaster led a £165m secondary buyout from the previous private-equity investors Montagu and Electra Partners, with backing from Royal Bank of Scotland. Turnover was £680m in 2006.
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