Issa brothers complete £6.8bn Asda takeover

Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

The billionaire Issa brothers and their private equity backers have said that their £6.8 billion acquisition of Asda has now been completed.

The deal by EG Group owners Mohsin and Zuber Issa and investment funds managed by TDR Capital secured FCA approval for the takeover last week.

However, the deal still needs to secure approval by UK competition regulators.

In a separate announcement, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it has set April 20 as a deadline for its preliminary decision on the move.

In October, the suitors announced the deal to buy the majority stake in the UK’s third biggest grocery, although previous owner Asda will still hold a minority stake.

The CMA launched an investigation in December and initially set a February 18 deadline for its Phase One probe, before pushing its timetable back in order to look at additional documentation.

Since the inquiry was launched, the Issa brothers and TDR have confirmed plans to sell Asda’s petrol forecourt business to its own EG Group for £750 million.

The CMA will also consider the forecourt deal as part of its inquiries.

The update also comes days after the new owners completed a £2.75 billion junk bond sale to help fund the Asda acquisition.

Competition lawyers expect the deal to be given the go-ahead by the regulator.

It comes almost two years after Asda’s attempted merger with rival Sainsbury’s was halted by the CMA.

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