Asda has come under new ownership from 2021 after former owner Walmart agreed the £6.8bn sale of the business to the co-founders and co-chief executives of EG Group, Mohsin and Zuber Issa, and investment vehicle TDR Capital in October 2020. The acquisition was greenlit by the CMA in June 2021 following an 8-month investigation into potential competition concerns.

The billionaire Issa brothers and TDR Capital have taken a majority ownership stake in Asda, with Walmart retaining an equity investment and a seat on the board as part of an “ongoing commercial relationship”.

Asda has retained ownership of its petrol forecourts business, however, after EG pulled out of a £750m deal to acquire this business in October 2021. And strengthening its position in forecourts under EG, towards the end of 2022 Asda confirmed the purchase of 132 convenience stores with attached petrol forecourts from the Co-op. 

The Issa brothers plan to plough £1bn into Asda during the first three years of ownership, with a focus on lowering prices and shoring up its supply chain. Asda On The Move convenience stores are also being rolled out across EG Group forecourt locations. 

The grocer has been overhauling its product range and upping investment in pricing in a bid to claw back sales from the discounters. It is also focusing on remodelling its big stores, driving up customer service standards and is continuing to invest in online to improve the profitability of the business which had been coming under pressure.

Asda Stores sales excluding fuel edged up 0.6% to £20.4bn in the year to end-December 2021. Like-for-like sales were 0.6% ahead year-on-year and 4.3% up on a two-year basis. After slipping into the red at the pre-tax level in 2020, Asda Stores returned to the black in 2021, notching up a pre-tax profit of £302.5m. 

Innovation rating: 3

See related content from Retail-Week.com