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Poundland takes over rival 99p Stores in £55m deal

Discount chain Poundland is set to take over its rival 99p Stores in a £55 million deal.

The 99p Stores brand, which also includes Family Bargains stores, boasted £370.4m in annual sales last year.

ITV News' Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports:

Family-owned 99p Stores was founded 14 years ago as a single shop, run by Nadir Lalani. It quickly expanded, adding three more stores that same year, and now runs a total of 251 shops across the country.

99p Stores is to be bought by Poundland Credit: PA

Poundland, based in Willenhall near Walsall in the West Midlands, has around 600 shops, including some in Spain and the Republic of Ireland. It is paying £47.5m in cash, plus £7.5m in new shares in the buy-out.

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Snow in West Midlands as weather warnings issued

Forecasters have warned more snow is on the way after blizzards disrupted travel and closed schools in parts of the UK.

ITV News Central Correspondent Keith Wilkinson posted on Twitter:

West Midlands rescue teams offer help in wintry weather

West Midlands Search and Rescue (WMSAR) have been out in force helping people across the region hindered by the wintry weather conditions.

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"Digging snow, pushing cars and offering help to those unable to get home," WMSAR wrote on its Facebook page.

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Man arrested after discovery of 'chemicals and ammunition'

A 49-year-old man has been arrested after police discovered 'chemicals and ammunition' during an ongoing investigation in Walwyn Road, Colwall near Malvern.

A small number of residents were evacuated immediately from their homes and a cordon was put in place while officers carried out further work at the property.

A full investigation is now under way following the man's arrest and inquiries are being made to establish the exact nature of the chemicals.

The police have stressed that there is nothing to suggest that this is in any way linked to any terrorist activity.

We are receiving assistance from the Army and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue to make sure all the items are removed and made safe.

We would like to reassure members of the public that the incident has been contained and that no-one has been injured.

– Superintendent Sue Thomas
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