Walmart sells Asda as it returns to British ownership
Asda is returning to British ownership for the first time in 21 years after Walmart agreed terms for the £6.8 billion sale of the Big 4 grocer to the Issa brothers and TDR Capital.
Walmart confirmed that it has accepted a bid from a consortium led by Lancashirebased brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa the billionaire owners of petrol forecourt firm EG Group following a lengthy auction process.
Under the new ownership structure, the Issa brothers and TDR Capital will acquire a majority ownership stake in Asda.
Walmart, the US retail giant that has owned Asda since 1999, will retain a minority stake in the Big 4 grocer as part of the agreement, along with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the board.
The new owners have committed to keeping Asda’s headquarters in Leeds, as well as support the existing management team and maintain competitive pay levels for shop floor staff.
They also said they would invest over £1 billion in the next three years to further strengthen Asda’s business and its supply chain, and grow its convenience and online operations.
The news comes more than a year after the proposed £12 billion merger between Asda and Big 4 rival Sainsbury’s was blocked by competition regulators at CMA.
Asda has seen its fortunes improve recently with trading strengthening throughout 2020, especially in the quarter ending June the period covering the height of lockdown as shoppers have spent more money on groceries during the pandemic.
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