JUST a year since regulators refused to approve a merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s, American owners Walmart have announced that they have sold the supermarket chain for £6.8 billion (7.5 billion) to a British consortium.
On the face of things, the purchase of Asda by Walmart 21 years ago wasn’t a great investment as they are making just £100 million (€110 million) profit from the sale but they are keeping some shares and will have a single seat on the board.
Triumphant purchasers are petrol billionaires Mohsin and Zuber Issa who own the Lancashire based EG Group working with London private equity firm TDR Capital who between them look to see the supermarket return to growth and have promised to keep prices low whilst investing more than £1 billion (€1.1 billion) over the next three years.
Initially at least, there are unlikely to be many major changes as headquarters will remain in Leeds and current CEO Roger Burnley has received a vote of confidence and will be maintained in his role.
According to YouGov pollsters, Asda is now the seventh most popular supermarket in the United Kingdom and has a long way to go to beat leaders Aldi, M&S Food and Lidl.
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