YORK convenience store chain Maynews, which runs 20 stores mainly in Yorkshire, has been sold.

Maynews, which has three shops in central York and one in Huntington, as well as its head office at Clifton Moor, has been sold for an undisclosed sum to First Stop News Limited, the holding company of Rippleglen Limited, a Birmingham-based operator of confectionery, news and tobacco (CTN) shops.

Tony Wright, managing director, established Maynews in 1984, when confectionery business Maynards decided to dispose of its retail division.

Mr Wright, who worked for Maynards, which had a distribution depot and regional head office in York, took the opportunity to buy ten of the shops.

He named it Maynews to provide a link to its heritage, and has since grown the business, which now employs about 100 people.

The sellers were advised by York commercial law firm Denison Till and UHY Calvert Smith Chartered Accountants in the deal.

First Stop News, which has 125 shops and a turnover of more than £90 million following the acquisition, said it intended to keep all the shops trading and would rebrand them all to its Supernews brand.

Mr Wright said: “Our executive board of directors is not getting any younger and we felt that, after 28 years at the helm, the best interests of the company would be served if we could pass on our responsibilities to an organisation that could continue to grow Maynews in the challenging years ahead.

“Our primary consideration was the protection of jobs for our loyal, long-serving staff and as one of the largest, specialist CTN operators in our industry, First Stop News was the best placed company to fulfil our aspirations.”

Mike Colley, executive chairman of Rippleglen, said they planned to develop the product offering of the stores, while keeping old favourites.

He said First Stop News had just completed rolling out its new high- street discount format of shops, trading as Supernews discount, and was about to begin the roll-out of Supernews local, its home-news delivered division.

He said: “The acquisition of these CTN shops will enable us to further develop the news side of our business, helping to reduce dependency on tobacco.

“The tobacco market is diminishing in the UK because of legislation and price and people’s social awareness of the health issues, so we’re building other parts of the business up. Home news delivery is one of those.”