Sainsbury's/Asda merger shakes up retail, European shares rise

01 May, 2018, 13:12 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Sainsbury's

A multi-billion pound merger between British supermarket Sainsbury's and Asda shook up retail stocks on Monday while European benchmarks ended April with their strongest monthly gains since 2016.

Tesco, whose position as United Kingdom leader in terms of market share would be overtaken by the new merged group, tumbled 1.3 percent on the news.

The deal, if approved, would create Britain's largest supermarket group, with a network of 2,800 Sainsbury's, Asda and Argos stores, pushing Tesco into second place.

"Bringing Sainsbury's and Asda together will result in a more competitive and more resilient business".

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said they will carry out a review of the merger that will create Britain's biggest retail store group, accounting for a 30-percent share of the market and knocking Tesco off the top perch.

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The transaction values Asda at £7.3 billion.

"This is a transformational opportunity to create a new force in United Kingdom retail, which will be more competitive and give customers more of what they want", said Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe.

That's the lesson for Mike Coupe after the chief executive officer of British grocer J Sainsbury was caught singing "We're in the Money", on camera as he prepared for a television interview. It was an unfortunate choice of song, from the musical 42nd Street, which I saw a year ago, and I apologise if I have offended anyone'.

The company's statement earlier Monday said: "The retail sector is going through significant and rapid change, as customer shopping habits continue to evolve".

The combined business would have total revenues of £51 billion.

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Instead, he said cost savings of at least £500m would allow the new group, which will account for almost £1 in every three £3 spent on groceries, to reduce prices by a tenth on many "everyday items".

Simran Jagdev, analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, added: "The deal points to the highly competitive United Kingdom grocery market, which has always been concentrated in the hands of the top four players - Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons - but is now facing an onslaught from new challengers".

Sainsbury's opened its first shop in London in 1869, with the family business climbing to become one of the biggest store names in Britain.

Asda chief executive Roger Burnley however remained adamant that there we no planned changes to the firm's Asda House headquarters in Leeds.

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