Issa brothers Asda takeover takes another step forward after watchdog accepts offer to sell petrol stations

The UK competition regulator has accepted an offer from Asda’s prospective new owners to sell 27 petrol stations to push their takeover deal across the line.

In October, the billionaire Issa brothers and private equity backer TDR Capital agreed a £6.8 billion deal to buy the supermarket chain.

However, the deal is still awaiting approval from regulators after they raised concerns in April that the deal could lead to higher petrol prices for motorists in 36 locations.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

The Issa brothers offered a deal last month which would see them sell 27 of their current forecourts.

The Issa brothers are aiming to takeover Asda.
The Issa brothers are aiming to takeover Asda.

On Wednesday, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it has now “officially accepted” the proposal.

Nevertheless, the new Asda owners must now select a buyer, or buyers, to purchase the forecourt sites, which must be approved by the CMA.

The supermarket chain said the CMA update will enable its management team to start working with TDR and the Issa brothers over their new plans for the business.

Asda CEO and president, Roger Burnley, said: “We welcome today’s announcement from the CMA, which means we can now fully embark on the next stage of our journey under new ownership and work with Mohsin, Zuber and TDR to build an even stronger Asda that gives our customers outstanding choice, value and service in our stores and online.”

In a joint statement, TDR and the Issa Brothers said: “We welcome the CMA’s announcement today marking the end of its review process and acceptance of our proposed undertakings.

“We can now push ahead with our exciting plans for Asda and look forward to working with the Asda management team to invest in the business to drive growth, including continuing to accelerate Asda’s online offer, sourcing more food from UK farmers, and bringing enhanced convenience to customers.”

EG Group the forecourt giant owned by the brothers, operates 395 petrol stations, while Asda owns 323 sites.