Tesco’s planned merger with wholesaler Booker has been attacked by one of the grocer’s top shareholders.
Schroder Investment Management, which controls a 4.65% stake in Tesco, reiterated concerns that the £3.7bn deal would be bad for investors.
Tesco and Booker’s controversial tie-up was provisionally given the green light on Tuesday by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The CMA’s decision surprised many observers, because there had been widespread industry concern about the power the merged business would wield.
However, the latest criticism from Schroder was about the rationale of the deal, the Daily Mail reported.
A Schroder spokesman told the newspaper: “We have argued that it doesn’t matter how good a strategy is if you pay the wrong price.
“We believe that Tesco is paying a too high a price for Booker, making it very hard to create value for Tesco shareholders.”
The proposed merger means that Tesco would also be a key supplier to small shopkeepers, selling to 125,000 independent convenience stores through Booker as well as 468,000 restaurants and pubs.