The acquisition, which was initially announced at the end of August for a cash value of £438m, includes 129 existing sites across the UK with retail stores of between 1,500 to 3,000 square feet; and attached petrol stations; plus three development sites.
However, the deal remains subject to regulatory approval from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which has issued an ‘Initial Enforcement Order’ requiring that the Co-op sites remain entirely separate from Asda while the CMA conducts it investigation into the deal – a process that is expected to take until mid-2023.
During that time the sites will be run separately to the Asda business and only following formal approval of the transaction will colleagues be able to transfer to Asda’s employment and the stores made part of the Asda estate. The circa 2,300 colleagues currently employed by The Co-op will move to Asda’s employment under TUPE transfer in the coming months, following consultation with USDAW.
Mohsin Issa, co-owner of Asda, said the acqusition was part of Asda’s strategy to enter the convenience retail space and create an exciting new part of the Asda business that brings Asda value to more Asda communities: “We are delighted to formally complete the transaction that we announced in August and taking the next step on our journey to creating a new and exciting part of our Asda business.
”As millions of families deal with the day-to-day impacts of increasing costs of living, we’re committed to bringing Asda’s great value groceries and fuel to even more communities across the UK through these new stores. Over the last five years we’ve been consistently ranked as one of the cheapest providers of fuel in the UK and have been voted the Grocer’s best-priced supermarket for 25 years in a row – meaning customers in these communities can look forward to saving millions annually on the cost of filling their shopping trolleys and tanks when Asda comes to town.
“We look forward to working collaboratively with the CMA on their investigation and to welcoming our new Asda colleagues to our great business in the coming months.”
The takeover of Asda by EG Group founders and joint CEOs Mohsin and Zuber Issa, and investment funds managed by TDR Capital, was given the green light by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in June 2021, after the CMA formally confirmed acceptance of undertakings offered by Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR Capital to divest 27 EG Group petrol filling stations to address competition concerns relating to the Asda deal.