Asda has sold 39 out of the 47 Netto stores it had to dispose of as part of its £778m acquisition in summer last year.
Asda has sold stores to Morrisons, Iceland and independent chain Haldanes. The Office of Fair Trading consultation period will officially end on February 2, and Asda is expected to complete the conversion of the Netto chain by autumn, subject to final approval.
Asda still has eight stores to sell, and is confident it will get these away. That will leave the grocer with a chain of 147 smaller supermarkets, adding 1.2 million sq ft of space.
Morrisons is to acquire 16 stores for £28.1m, making up 120,000 sq ft. The handover of stores is expected to take place in March, and conversion to Morrisons expected to take three months.
Iceland has bought three, and Haldanes has bought 20.
The move will give Asda a major foothold in the smaller supermarket arena. The stores will average 8,000 sq ft, and the grocer said it will still provide a full weekly shop. It will also offer some non-food and a Click & Collect service in the stores.
Judith McKenna, Asda chief financial officer, who led the deal said: “The good news for shoppers is that there’ll be no premium to shop in one of our smaller stores. We’ll charge the same low prices you’ll find in any of our stores.”