Retail

Issa Brothers Offer To Sell Petrol Stations To Get Clearance On Asda Deal

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Britain's competition regulator is likely to accept an offer from the new owners of the Asda supermarket chain to sell 27 petrol stations to satisfy concerns that the takeover could lead to higher fuel prices, it said on Wednesday.

Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity group TDR Capital completed their purchase of a majority stake in Asda from United States giant Walmart in February in a deal valuing the chain at £6.8 billion ($9.5 billion).

In a separate deal in February, EG Group, which is also owned by the brothers and TDR, agreed to buy Asda's 323 petrol stations for £750 million.

EG Group operates 395 petrol station sites in the UK.

Last month Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised concerns over petrol prices and called on Asda's buyers to address them to avoid the deal being referred for an in-depth probe.

On Wednesday the CMA said the buyers had offered to sell 27 EG Group filling stations.

'Reasonable Grounds'

‘There are reasonable grounds to consider that this offer, or a modified version of it, may be accepted by the CMA,’ it said.

The regulator now has 40 days to work through the detail of the proposed divestitures.

The brothers and TDR welcomed the CMA's statement.

They said there had been ‘significant interest’ from potential buyers of sites.

"Over the coming months, we are confident that we will be able to agree a sale to suitable operators to take over all identified sites," they added. [Pic: ©Johndavidphoto/123RF.COM]

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more Retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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