ASDA will return to British ownership for the first time in 20 years after a sale has been agreed.
The supermarket's US owners Walmart agreed to sell the chain to a group led by billionaire petrol station tycoons Mohsin and Zuber Issa.
The deal is said to be worth £6.8 billion, with the brothers from Blackburn taking a majority stake, alongside their partner TDR, a London private equity group.
Walmart will also retain a minority stake in the business as part of the agreement.
The new owners have promised to keep the retailer's headquarters in Leeds and has said it will invest to grow its convenience and online operations.
It comes more than a year after plans to merge Asda and UK rival Sainsbury's were railroaded by the competitions watchdog.
Here’s how to cut the cost of your grocery shop
SAVING on your shop can make a big difference to your wallet. Here are some tips from Money.co.uk about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:
- Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
- Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
- Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
- Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
- Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
- Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
- Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
- Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards
Asda's profits have strengthened throughout 2020 as shoppers spend more money on groceries during the pandemic.
In the quarter to June, Asda saw online sales double but the new owners will be tasked with expanding its digital business further to take advantage of soaring demand and make ground on rivals, such as Tesco, who have a larger slice of the market.
The new owners will also face the challenge of keeping prices low amid tough economic conditions for shoppers and potential new tariffs on EU-imported foods, with the other big four supermarkets all announcing a raft of price cuts in recent months.
EG Group has sealed the deal after its offer was favoured by Walmart ahead of a move by US private equity firm Apollo.
Last week, a third bid from Lone Star Funds, fronted by former Asda executive Paul Mason, was dropped after failing to meet the price of its rivals during the latter stage of bidding.
Walmart sought a sale after the UK's competition regulator blocked its merger with Sainsbury's amid fears the move would push up prices and reduce product quality.
The US grocery started new discussions over a sale of Asda in February, but saw these halted due to disruption as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the auction process restarted in July as Walmart sought to exit the UK, 21 years after first purchasing the Leeds-based retailer.
Blackburn-based EG Group, formerly known as Euro Garages, already runs forecourt convenience stores for Spar and French hypermarket chain Carrefour.
The deal will have to pass through regulators, although it is expected to be given the green light.
Last week, EG Group announced a trial involving three "Asda on the Move" convenience stores at its petrol forecourts.
TDR Capital, which also owns the UK's largest pub group Stonegate, owns a 50% stake in EG Group, sharing ownership with the Issa brothers.
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