UK: Asda and Sainsbury’s CEOs grilled by MPs

The bosses of Asda and Sainsbury’s have been accused of using “mickey mouse numbers” by MPs, who also dismissed the two grocers’ promise to continue running both brands separately after a merger as “baloney”, reported The Financial Times.

In a bruising session on Wednesday morning, Neil Parish, chair of the parliamentary environment food and rural affairs committee, told Asda’s chief executive Roger Burnley there was “no logic to this deal other than a financial fix for both of you”.

“I’ve had lots of suppliers talking to me about the benefits they see,” Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said at the same evidence session.

MPs on the committee were openly skeptical. “Don’t come in here and give us a load of baloney,” Neil Parish, Conservative MP for Tiverton and chair of the committee, told Mr Burnley over his claim that smaller suppliers would not suffer. “Let’s have a bit of honesty.” He added that suppliers appeared reluctant to appear before the committee for fear of upsetting a major customer. “They are absolutely terrified,” he said. “It’s a very cut throat business out there and I know whose throats you’re going to cut.”

Full Content: Financial Times

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