// Asda owners offer to sell petrol stations to ease takeover competition concerns
// CMA will consider undertakings offered for Issa brothers’ acquisition of Asda
// Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR Capital jointly offered undertakings to the CMA
The CMA has said it will consider undertakings offered for Issa brothers’ acquisition of Asda as the new owners offer to sell petrol stations to ease takeover competition concerns.
The UK’s peak competitions authority said it could accept the offer or a modified version of it as it prepares to deliver its final verdict on the completed takeover.
The new owners of Asda have offered to sell a number of petrol stations they already controlled in a bid to ease competition fears that could lead to the £6.8 billion deal being blocked.
Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR Capital jointly offered undertakings to the CMA, which involve divesting 27 EG Group petrol filling stations.
The news comes after the CMA warned last month that the Issa brothers’ £6.8 billion takeover of Asda could lead to higher petrol prices in some areas.
EG Group, the forecourt giant owned by Mohsin and Zuber Issa, operates 395 petrol stations, while Asda owns 323 sites.
Following the CMA’s announcement, Issa brothers and TDR Capital have said that over the last 10 days, they have worked constructively with the CMA to offer remedies to address any competition concerns.
“As is usual in cases such as these, the CMA now has a period of 40 days to work through the detail of the proposed divestitures and therefore we are restricted in the level of information we are able to provide on specific sites,” Issa brothers said.
“However, we have been comforted by the significant interest we have already received from potential buyers during this process, demonstrating the strong growth potential of our forecourts and the liquidity in the market.
“Over the coming months, we are confident that we will be able to agree a sale to suitable operators to take over all identified sites, and we will share more information in due course.”
The watchdog is expected to deliver an update on its Phase One investigation within days.