Dudley Ramsden, the founder of Nisa Today's has stepped down from the board following pressure from fellow directors, according to a report from the Times.

Mr Ramsden is expected to receive a GBP3.4 million payoff, though this has not been confirmed. Mr Ramsden said it was always his intention to retire after the completion of the proposed merger with Costcutter and that, despite the merger not now taking place, the reasons for his retirement remain valid.

A recent revelation that Mr Ramsden had signed a multi-million pound long-term service agreement and was expected to take a 10% stake in the newly merged business with Costcutter is thought to have caused a boardroom rift.

Mr Ramsden will be replaced by Edwin Booth as acting non-executive director Neil Turton has been appointed chief executive, with Mr Ramsden expected to take an ambassadorial role in the future, as non-executive president of the group.