M&A

Walmart Sells U.K. Supermarket Chain Asda

The deal values the grocer at $8.8 billion.
Lauren MuskettOctober 2, 2020
Walmart Sells U.K. Supermarket Chain Asda

Billionaire brothers, Mohsin Issa and Zuber Issa, and private equity firm TDR Capital have agreed to buy U.K. supermarket chain Asda from Walmart, the companies announced.

In a statement, the companies said the deal has an enterprise value of $8.8 billion and is being done on a debt-free and cash-free basis.

“I’m delighted that Walmart will retain a significant financial stake, a board seat, and will continue as a strategic partner,” the chief executive officer of Walmart International, Judith McKenna, said in a statement. “Asda has been a powerhouse of innovation for the rest of the Walmart world, and we look forward to continuing to learn from them in the future.”

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Walmart had previously reached a deal to sell Asda to Sainsbury’s in a deal valued at $9.4 billion. Last spring, that merger was blocked by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority, saying the deal would be bad for consumers.

In a statement, the new owners pledged to invest over £1 billion in Asda in the next three years, increase the proportion of U.K. suppliers, and maintain competitive pay for workers. They also said they were committed to sourcing 100% British beef.

Asda’s current CEO Roger Burnley will continue to lead the company and will also join the Asda board of directors.

“Asda is a strong and well-managed business with one of the leading brands in U.K. retail,” Gary Lindsay, a partner at TDR Capital, said. “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.”

The Issa brothers founded EG Group with a single gas station in Bury, England in 2001. The group bought Cumberland Farms in the summer of 2019.

Asda will remain headquartered in Leeds in the U.K.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year.

Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images