UK

Walmart to sell UK Asda grocery chain for £6.8 billion

Walmart

Asda Group Ltd, TDR Capital and EG Group announced that they have agreed to acquire Walmart U.K. grocery chain

Asda Group Ltd, the British supermarket retailer; TDR Capital, the London-based private equity firm; and EG Group, a global convenience retailer announced on Friday that they have agreed to acquire Asda, Walmart Inc.’s U.K. grocery chain, for 6.8 billion pounds ($7.9 billion).

Under the new ownership, Asda Group, Mohsin and Zuber Issa (the owners of EG Group), and TDR Capital will acquire a majority ownership stake in Asda, while Walmart will retain an equity investment in the business.

The deal comes one year after U.K. regulators blocked Walmart’s 7.3 billion pound ($9.45 billion) merger of Asda with Sainsbury’s Supermarket Co., the second-largest chain of supermarkets in the country. Regulators ruled that the new company would raise prices for consumers.

Walmart International’s President and CEO Judith McKenna told Reuters that she expects the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Britain’s competition regulator, to soon examine the sale.

We fully expect the CMA to take a look at this, and we’ll work with them at every step of the way, she said. We know they look at every single deal that crosses their desk differently, so we’ll provide them with everything that they need.

Roger Burnley, Asda’s CEO, said that in a constantly changing retail environment, the new ownership will enhance its resilience while creating opportunities for growth.

This new ownership opens an exciting new chapter in Asda’s long heritage of delivering great value for U.K. shoppers, he said in a statement.

Asda has been resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly doubling its online operations in a matter of months, the company said. With support from its new owners, the retailer said it will invest in accelerating its multiple sales approaches intended to provide customers with better service. Asda aims to include more offerings from U.K. farmers and maintain its commitment to supporting domestic suppliers and small businesses.

Asda will remain based in Leeds, where it was founded. The new business will continue to be led by Burnley, who will form part of Asda’s board along with representatives appointed by the Issa brothers, TDR Capital and Walmart.

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