Built Business Tough

Asda takeover may force billionaire brothers to sell 50 petrol stations

The mergers watchdog has warned that the £6.8bn takeover of Asda by the billionaire Issa brothers could push selling prices up at the pump and demanded additional assurances to avoid a comprehensive-blown investigation. 

The Competition and Marketplaces Authority’s probe determined 36 places throughout the British isles wherever the tie-up could guide to higher selling prices for motorists. 

EG Group, the forecourt large owned by Mohsin and Zuber Issa, operates 395 petrol stations, whilst Asda owns 323 sites. The brothers are to merge Asda’s sites with their existing forecourt empire in a individual £750m deal as portion of their takeover of the grocery store.

The CMA only named one Asda superstore in Aberdeen as problematic.

Other places wherever the two companies overlap, in accordance to information from Altus, consist of: Birmingham, with two EG sites and 6 Asda sites Leeds, with 4 EG sites and 5 Asda sites Liverpool, with 3 EG sites and 6 Asda sites and Manchester, with 7 EG sites and eight Asda sites. 

Competition lawyers approximated that the new house owners of the grocery store chain would have to market among forty and fifty sites to get the environmentally friendly light from the regulator. 

Marketplace veteran Gerald Ronson, who pioneered self-service petrol stations in the 1960s, expressed an desire in getting some of the sites to increase to his existing 265 destinations. 

“We’re in the industry to get the correct sites. If they have sites that they want to market we would be happy to have a seem at them. We really do not have any personal debt and we have significant income. We’re consumers,” he said.