Walmart accepts British brothers' £6.8bn bid for Asda

2 October 2020, 14:22

Walmart accepted the £6.8bn bid, and will retain a minority stake in the supermarket
Walmart accepted the £6.8bn bid, and will retain a minority stake in the supermarket. Picture: PA

US supermarket chain Walmart has accepted a multi-billion pound takeover bid for Asda.

The new owners, billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, won the takeover battle on Friday with a £6.8bn bid for the British supermarket giant.

Originally from Lancashire, the siblings are known for being behind petrol forecourt firm EG Group and private equity firm TDR Capital.

They are said to now be committed to maintaining Asda's headquarters in Leeds, and further investing in the company to grow its convenience and online operations.

This will include at least £1bn being pumped into the company over the next three years to strengthen the business and supply chain.

It will also see to maintaining staff levels and keep stock prices low for customers.

As part of the new agreement, Walmart will retain a minority share.

Asda chief executive Roger Burnley, who has led the grocer since 2018 and will stay in his role, said Friday marked a "good day" for the company.

He added: "Today is good for colleagues and customers as we have new owners passionate about growing the business.

"They're backing the business with investment which will grow our online business further and keep up our really strong momentum."

Meanwhile, the Issas said they were "very proud" to be investing in 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," they said.

"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."

Walmart International president and chief executive Judith McKenna said the company was also "delighted" to announce the deal, which, she added: "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."