Tesco served up a surprise today with news that it is buying wholesaler Booker Group in a £3.7bn deal.

The transaction, which few had foreseen, had Tesco boss Dave Lewis declaring that the takeover will create “the UK’s leading food business”.

Certainly it plays into two key trends for the UK food market, namely: convenience and the growing eating-out market.

We’ve run the rule over the deal to ask why Tesco is taking this bet and offered on-the-spot analysis from the post-announcement press conference.

We have also rounded up analyst reaction and given an in-depth look at Booker.

Elsewhere today, rumours have surfaced that the Barclay brothers are looking to sell off their stake in Shop Direct.

And French Connection is reportedly looking for two new non-executive directors after bowing to shareholder pressure.

Quote of the day

“We have an absolute commitment to build the UK’s leading food business and we’ll do that by being customer obsessed, by being food obsessed and by being service obsessed.”

– Tesco boss Dave Lewis

Today in numbers 


The size of the UK food market that Tesco is hoping to further tap into with its Booker acquisition


The estimated value of Shop Direct as the Barclay brother reportedly look to sell their stake in the etailer 

Next week’s agenda

Updates from Ocado, Joules, Carpetright, ScS and Conviviality.

James Wilmore, News Editor