A new chapter in delivering great value for UK shoppers
A message from Asda CEO Roger Burnley
“At its heart, this investment is about growth and continuing to build a strong British business that has proud northern roots and a rich heritage in providing great value to customers.”
- Roger Burnley, CEO, Asda
News Release - 2nd October 2020
The Issa brothers and TDR to acquire Asda from Walmart
New British ownership to accelerate Asda’s strategy, building on the retail leader’s low-price heritage
- The Issa brothers and TDR Capital to acquire Asda, with equal shareholdings; Walmart to retain an ongoing equity investment
- The Issa brothers, together with TDR Capital, bring significant expertise in convenience retail and brand partnerships to help Asda serve a wider base of UK shoppers
- Existing Asda management team to continue to drive the current growth strategy, with ongoing access to Walmart’s global sourcing scale and innovation
2nd October 2020 - Walmart Inc. (“Walmart”), Asda Group Limited (“Asda”), the Issa brothers and TDR Capital announced that the Issa brothers, founders and co-CEOs of EG Group, a global convenience and forecourts retailer, headquartered in Blackburn, UK, and investment funds managed by TDR Capital LLP, a leading UK-based private equity firm, have together agreed to acquire Asda, Walmart’s wholly-owned UK business, for an enterprise value of £6.8 billion, on a debt-free and cash-free basis.
Under the new ownership structure, the Issa brothers and TDR Capital are acquiring a majority ownership stake in Asda. Walmart will retain an equity investment in the business, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the Board.
At a time of evolution in the UK food retail sector, the new owners will continue to build a strong and successful business, benefiting from fresh capital and expertise, as well as valuable links with the world’s largest retailer. The Issa brothers, backed by TDR Capital, will support and accelerate Asda’s existing strategy, which is anchored in delivering low prices and convenience to customers however they want to shop. Under the new ownership, Asda will continue to work closely with suppliers to provide best value ranges for customers in the categories that matter most to them.
Under CEO Roger Burnley and his management team, Asda has demonstrated huge resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic, almost doubling its online operations in a matter of months. With support from its new ownership, Asda will continue to invest in accelerating its omnichannel offer and in the resilience of its supply chain, including sourcing more food from UK farmers and maintaining its commitment to supporting domestic suppliers and small businesses.
Asda will remain headquartered in Leeds, from where it built its heritage and roots, and will continue to be a significant contributor to the UK economy and tax base. The business will continue to be led by Roger Burnley who will form part of Asda’s Board alongside representatives appointed by the Issa brothers, TDR Capital and Walmart.
As well as accelerating Asda’s existing strategy, the Issa brothers will bring significant additional expertise, particularly in convenience retail and brand partnerships, drawing on their experience of building a global convenience retailer with more than 6,000 sites. They are well placed to support Asda in developing a compelling convenience retail proposition and taking it to market, and to advise on the development of strategic brand partnerships that will better enable Asda to address multiple consumer missions. Through these and other initiatives, the Asda leadership team and the company’s new ownership will be focused on building a differentiated operating model that will drive competitive out-performance and long-term growth.
Under its new owners, the business will:
- Support the current management team, led by Roger Burnley
- Maintain competitive pay levels for Asda colleagues, and continue to provide exciting and enriching employment opportunities
- Invest over £1 billion in the next three years in Asda to further strengthen the business and its supply chain
- Continue to offer low prices across its stores and product categories for its customers
- Ensure Asda remains a price leader in the supermarket fuel sector
- Increase the proportion of UK-based suppliers, increasing the volume of products - such as chicken, dairy, wheat and potatoes - purchased from UK suppliers each year, as well as a commitment to source 100% British beef
- Retain Asda’s industry-leading payment terms for suppliers
- Enjoy the continued support and involvement of Walmart as an investor and partner, allowing Asda access to global innovation and buying power
- Maintain its commitment to its Create Change for Better programme, which helps people living below the poverty line in the UK and supports local communities, among other good causes.
Judith McKenna, President and Chief Executive Officer of Walmart International said:
“We are delighted to be able to announce this deal today, which we believe 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. Asda has been a powerhouse of innovation for the rest of the Walmart world, and we look forward to continuing to learn from them in the future. This important combination will continue to keep customers and colleagues at Asda’s heart, which is important to us all.”
Roger Burnley, Chief Executive Officer of Asda, said:
“This new ownership opens an exciting new chapter in Asda’s long heritage of delivering great value for UK shoppers. With our combined investment, expertise and ambition; Asda, Walmart, the Issa brothers and TDR have an incredible opportunity to accelerate our existing strategy and develop an even more exciting offer for our customers as well as strengthen our business for our colleagues. In a constantly changing retailing environment, our new ownership will further enhance our resilience, whilst creating significant, additional opportunities to drive growth. For Asda colleagues, a strong and growing business is important for our long-term future. I want to thank every single one of our people for the incredible work they do serving our communities, and together our focus will remain on building a better Asda for the benefit of all.”
Mohsin and Zuber Issa said:
“We are very proud to be investing in Asda, 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. 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.
“We believe that our experience with EG Group, including our expertise around convenience and brand partnerships and our successful partnership with TDR Capital, can help to accelerate and execute that growth strategy. After a successful period as part of Walmart we are looking forward to helping Asda build a differentiated business that will continue to serve customers brilliantly in communities across the UK.”
Gary Lindsay at TDR Capital said: “Asda is a strong and well-managed business with one of the leading brands in UK retail. We are proud to be investing alongside Mohsin and Zuber, who have built EG Group into a global convenience retailer and will now bring that experience to bear at Asda. We look forward to supporting them, and Roger Burnley and the management team at Asda, to build on the business’s inherent strengths and drive long-term sustainable growth.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete in H1 2021.
Issa Brothers & TDR
Mohsin & Zuber Issa
Born in Blackburn, Mohsin and Zuber Issa began their careers working in their father’s local petrol station, while harbouring ambitions to start their own business.
Prior to founding Euro Garages, the pair leased a petrol station together for two years, working diligently with the goal of one day being able to acquire their own. In 2001, they bought their first petrol station, a derelict freehold site in Bury, about 20 kilometres north of Manchester, and Euro Garages was formed. Over the 19 years that followed, Mohsin and Zuber have been on an incredible growth journey, expanding Euro Garages from one UK site to more than 6,000 sites across three continents.
TDR Capital is a leading private equity firm which invests in UK and European businesses, and partners with them to develop and grow their operations.
Founded in 2002, it has a long track record of supporting the successful growth of market-leading businesses across a number of different sectors, with a particular focus on consumer facing companies. TDR takes a long-term approach to its portfolio of businesses, underpinned by ambitious growth plans, strategic focus and targeted investment.
TDR has worked with the Issa brothers since 2015, supporting the growth of EG Group into one of the leading companies in forecourt convenience retailing globally.
Find out more here.
Asda is one of the UK’s most popular consumer brands serving more than 18m customers each week.
For more key information please download the company fact sheet.
From its beginnings as the first UK discounter, offering customers the very best value has been Asda's driving force. The business was built upon listening to a diverse range of customers and offering what they need. From checkout to boardroom, Asda's colleagues are the heroes, and they've always made the business special, shaping the character of the company.
In the beginning
1958: The Asquith brothers, Peter and Fred, bought and sold their first store. They were actively involved in the family business and were later to become co-founders of Asda.
1963: After a trip to America, the Asquith brothers converted what was once a theatre called The Queens into the UK’s first self-service supermarket in Castleford, pioneering a discounting model on 1,000 cans of soup.
1965: Peter Asquith built his first new supermarket from scratch, and Asda was born. Asquith + Dairies = the birth of ASDA
1968: Associated Dairies bought out the Asquith Brothers, but Peter remained a significant force in the business.
1977: The launch of the first 'Asda Price' TV adverts featuring the 'pocket tap'. The pocket tap eventually became so well known that it took its place in sign language as the official sign for Asda.
Growth and Transformation
1981: 100th Asda store opened.
1989: George Davies produced a range of clothing for Asda. The partnership and pioneering brand George at Asda was born.
1997: Asda launched grocery home shopping.
Walmart and Innovation
1999: Walmart acquired Asda, becoming part of the world's biggest retailer.
2003: Asda launched Asda Living, the company’s first “general merchandise” store format. As of 2020, there are 33 stores.
2007: Asda launched Asda Mobile, its mobile phone network.
2010: Asda acquired Netto UK.
2015: Asda celebrated its 50th birthday and profits surpass £1bn for the first time.
2018: Roger Burnley became Asda CEO. Walmart International appoints Judith McKenna as President and CEO.
2019: Nearly 25,000 Asda colleagues received a £62m windfall thanks to a bumper return from the company's Save As You Earn (SAYE) scheme.
2020: Online sales doubled in Q2 with Asda the fastest-growing market share of any online grocery retailer in June, according to Kantar Worldpanel.
2020: Asda announced plans to expand online capacity up to one million slots a week in 2021.
2020: Asda announced the return of the pocket tap: 'that's Asda price'.