Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has announced the sale of grocer chain Asda to a consortium made up by billionaire Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital for GBP6.8bn.
Zuber and Mohsin Issa are founders and co-chief executives of EG Group, a UK-based retailer that operates petrol stations and fast-food outlets in Europe, the US and Australia.
The consortium is acquiring a majority ownership stake in Asda, while US retail giant Walmart will retain an equity investment in the business, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the board.
Asda will remain headquartered in Leeds and chief executive Roger Burnley will remain in his role.
Walmart said the Issa brothers will bring additional expertise, particularly in convenience retail and brand partnerships, and they are well placed to support Asda in developing a compelling convenience retail proposition and taking it to market.
The new owners will invest GBP1bn over the next three years, increase the proportion of UK-based suppliers as well as focusing on keeping prices low.
The deal was sealed after a bidding war that saw Lone Star Funds and Apollo Global Management as other potential suitors.
Last year, the UK’s competition watchdog blocked a merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s (LON:SBRY).
Shares in Walmart dipped 1% to US$141.06 in premarket trading.