A £6.8bn deal to buy Asda has been agreed by EG Group’s founders and joint CEOs Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity group TDR Capital.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and expected to complete in the first half of next year, involves the Issa brothers and TDR Capital acquiring a majority ownership stake in Asda, but its current owner, the giant US retailer Walmart will retain an equity investment in the business, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the board.
Asda will continue to be led by current CEO Roger Burnley, who will form part of Asda’s board alongside representatives appointed by the Issa brothers, TDR Capital and Walmart.
A statement announcing the deal said Asda intended to remain a price leader in the supermarket fuel sector, and more than £1bn would be invested in Asda over the next three years to strengthen its overall business and its supply chain.
It added that the Issa brothers were well placed to support Asda in developing a convenience retail proposition and taking it to market, and to advise on the development of strategic brand partnerships that will better enable Asda to address multiple consumer missions.
Mohsin and Zuber Issa said: “We are very proud to be investing in Asda, an iconic British business that we have admired for many years. Asda’s customer-centric philosophy, focus on operational excellence and commitment to the communities in which it operates are the same values that we have built EG Group on.
“Asda’s performance through the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the fundamental strength and resilience of the business, and we are excited to support Roger and his team as they continue to reposition the business to drive long-term growth.
“We believe that our experience with EG Group, including our expertise around convenience and brand partnerships and our successful partnership with TDR Capital, can help to accelerate and execute that growth strategy. After a successful period as part of Walmart we are looking forward to helping Asda build a differentiated business that will continue to serve customers brilliantly in communities across the UK.”
Gary Lindsay at TDR Capital said: “Asda is a strong and well-managed business with one of the leading brands in UK retail. We are proud to be investing alongside Mohsin and Zuber, who have built EG Group into a global convenience retailer and will now bring that experience to bear at Asda. We look forward to supporting them, and Roger Burnley and the management team at Asda, to build on the business’s inherent strengths and drive long-term sustainable growth.”
Judith McKenna, president and chief executive officer of Walmart International said: “We are delighted to be able to announce this deal today, which we believe creates the right ownership structure for Asda, building on its 71 year-heritage, whilst bringing a new entrepreneurial flair, not only to Asda, but also to UK retailing. I’m delighted that Walmart will retain a significant financial stake, a board seat, and will continue as a strategic partner.
Asda CEO Roger Burnley said: “With our combined investment, expertise and ambition; Asda, Walmart, the Issa brothers and TDR have an incredible opportunity to accelerate our existing strategy and develop an even more exciting offer for our customers as well as strengthen our business for our colleagues. In a constantly changing retailing environment, our new ownership will further enhance our resilience, whilst creating significant, additional opportunities to drive growth.”