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 force price ranges up at the pump and demanded excess assurances to avert a entire-blown investigation. 

The Opposition and Marketplaces Authority’s probe identified 36 locations throughout the British isles exactly where the tie-up could lead to greater price ranges for motorists. 

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

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

Other locations exactly where the two firms overlap, in accordance to information from Altus, include things like: Birmingham, with two EG internet sites and 6 Asda internet sites Leeds, with four EG internet sites and 5 Asda internet sites Liverpool, with 3 EG internet sites and 6 Asda internet sites and Manchester, with seven EG internet sites and 8 Asda internet sites. 

Opposition attorneys approximated that the new house owners of the supermarket chain would have to sell concerning forty and 50 internet sites to get the inexperienced light-weight from the regulator. 

Marketplace veteran Gerald Ronson, who pioneered self-assistance petrol stations in the 1960s, expressed an fascination in buying some of the internet sites to include to his current 265 spots. 

“We’re in the sector to get the proper internet sites. If they have internet sites that they want to sell we would be pleased to have a glimpse at them. We really do not have any personal debt and we have sizeable money. We’re purchasers,” he mentioned.