Sainsbury's, Asda merger to form largest United Kingdom grocer

Compact Could Co-op and Morrisons become the next supermarkets to join forces

Compact Could Co-op and Morrisons become the next supermarkets to join forces

On Monday, Unions and politicians raised concerns that the £12bn deal to create Britain's largest supermarket chain will result in jobs losses, store closures and a poorer deal for shoppers as more power is concentrated in a "duopoly" including current market leader Tesco. According to the entities involved, the deal will create one of the United Kingdom's leading grocery, general merchandise and clothing retail groups, as well as "a more competitive, adaptable and resilient business - better placed to invest in price, quality, range and more flexible ways for customers to shop".

Asked by Channel 4 News whether he will personally be in the money as a result of the merger and what is in it for him, he said: "I am a big shareholder in Sainsbury's, my shareholding is a matter of public record, you can see how many shares I own".

News of the tie-up sent Sainsbury's share price surging 14.5 percent to 309 pence by the close of trading in London.

Walmart would receive nearly £3 billion in cash and 42 per cent of the combined business in return for selling Asda, which is valued at £7.3 billion (€8.3 billion) under the terms of the agreement announced on Monday.

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The combined business will be chaired by Sainsbury's chairman David Tyler and led by its chief executive Mike Coupe and chief financial officer Kevin O'Byrne.

"It was an unfortunate choice of song from the musical '42nd Street, ' which I saw previous year, and I apologize if I have offended anyone", Coupe said in the statement.

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 two companies had combined revenues of more than 70 billion US dollars for 2017.

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"We believe the combination offers a unique and exciting opportunity that benefits customers and colleagues", said Doug McMillon, chief executive of U.S. retail behemoth Walmart.

"The transaction will, however, attract regulatory scrutiny, given that the merged companies will become the largest grocery retailer in the United Kingdom".

The last big deal by Sainsbury's, which has a market value of £5.9 billion, was its £1.4 billion purchase of Argos in 2016.

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