Wednesday, 24 Apr 2024

Sainsbury’s and Asda to sell 150 supermarkets as part of takeover deal

Sainsbury's and Asda have proposed to sell off between 125 and 150 supermarkets on the back of concerns raised by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over the potential merger.

A number of convenience stores and petrol stations are on the line, just days after both supermarkets vowed to deliver £1 billion in savings to consumers if the takeover is given the green light.

A document explains that between 125 and 150 supermarkets plus a number of convenience stores will be sold to either a current competitor or new entrant to the market.

A number of petrol filling stations could also be sold to grocery buyers, most likely rival chains.

"We have asked the CMA to correct significant errors in its Provisional Findings. Its analysis fundamentally misunderstands how people shop today as well as ignores the intensity of competition and the dynamism of the UK grocery market, which evolves on an almost weekly basis," a statement by Sainsbury's chief executive, Mike Coupe and Asda chief executive, Roger Burnley said.

"We have committed to £1 billion of lower prices for customers within three years of our businesses merging and proposed a remedy package that would satisfy any reasonable concerns. We urge the CMA to properly reflect the evidence so that we can deliver savings for customers.

"We regret the uncertainty this process causes for our colleagues and want to reassure them that no stores would close because of this merger, with any divested stores run by a credible third party."

The CMA previously warned the takeover would lead to inflated prices for millions of shoppers.

However, the two chains said if given the go-ahead, they would reduce prices by around 10% on everyday items.

Sainsbury’s said it would also cap its fuel gross profit margin to no more than 3.5p per litre for five years; while Asda would guarantee its existing fuel pricing strategy.

    The two businesses are proposing to merge so that they can "lower prices for customers in an increasingly competitive market, while improving quality and service".

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