Asda has been given the green light to acquire Netto after the Office of Fair Trading cleared its takeover of the discount grocer.
The stores will trade under the new Asda Supermarket fascia.
However Asda must sell 47 out of the 195 Netto stores - a number at the high end of Asda’s expectations. The retailer said it “can meet these obligations” and “expects to complete the conversion of the Netto stores by late summer 2011 as planned”. Asda said it has already begin discussions with potential buyers of the shops.
The Walmart-owned group said that it will expand its network of 26 smaller stores to more than 170 in next year.
Asda also “envisages” bringing Netto’s South Elmsall distribution centre into the Asda distribution network.
Asda president and chief executive Andy Clarke said: “Today’s OFT announcement paves the way for us to bring Asda to thousands of people in England and Wales and create a significant number of new jobs in an increasingly tough economy.”
Asda chief financial officer Judith McKenna said: “We’ve already learned so much from Netto colleagues and I appreciate their hard work and commitment. I’m looking forward to continuing to work together to ensure we make the transition to Asda a success and putting into practice what we’ve learned. I continue to be excited at what we can achieve together.”
Asda said customers can expect to see a “much broader range of products”, with the number of items on sale rising from an average of 1,800 to around 10,000, and up to 12,000 in the larger stores.