On Saturday, a source that has knowledge of the situation informed Reuters that the No. 2 supermarket of Britain, Sainsbury’s, and the arm of Walmart in the United Kingdom that is the No. 3 player, Asda, are close to finalising a merger deal.
The combination would create a group that is worth more than 10 billion pounds ($13.8 billion). It would form a more powerful rival to Tesco, the British market leader.
The same source said that the combined group would retain the name of Sainsbury’s even though the stores of Asda would continue to trade using their existing banner.
The source said that the chief executive of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe, would head the combined group.
Sky News first reported the news regarding the said deal. It said that an announcement could be made as early as this coming Monday, or even sooner if both of the sides were forced to expedite their public disclosures. However, a statement has already been released by Sainsbury’s. The statement confirmed that it is in advanced discussion with Wal-Mart and that a detailed announcement would be made to the London Stock Exchange about the said merger on Monday, the 30th of April at 7 am.
A major uncertainty that is surrounding any combination would be whether the said move secures an approval from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the competition regulator of the United Kingdom.