Walmart has agreed to sell UK supermarket chain Asda for £6.8 billion (US$8.8 billion), bringing to an end two decades of ownership of the Northern chain, reported Yahoo News.
Walmart confirmed on Friday, October 2, it would sell a majority stake in Asda to billionaire petrol station entrepreneurs the Issa brothers and British private equity firm TDR Capital. Walmart will retain a stake in the business.
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 stated. With support from its new owners, the retailer stated it will invest in accelerating its multiple sales approaches intended to provide customers with better service. Asda aims to include more offerings from UK farmers and maintain its commitment to supporting domestic suppliers and small businesses.
UK chancellor Rishi Sunak hailed the deal as “great” on Twitter and wished the Issa brothers “the best of luck.”
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