Capital Calls: UK grocery LBO can apply pain-free salve

2 minute read
Register now for FREE unlimited access to

LONDON, April 20 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance in the Covid-19 era.


SPEED BUMP. The UK’s competition regulator has a reputation for scuppering supermarket takeovers. So petrol station tycoons the Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital should be relieved that the Competition and Markets Authority has given the green light to their 6.8 billion pound takeover of UK grocer Asda, as long as they keep fuel prices low.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

The buyers have two options. They can continue Asda’s national pricing policy, offering motorists a flat fuel rate across the UK. However, that would stop them charging drivers more in areas where they are dominant. Flogging forecourts may be simpler, especially as Irish petrol station chain Applegreen and Motor Fuel Group may be keen to hoover up discarded outlets. The CMA seems open to remedies and is unlikely to torpedo the deal, as it did with J Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) merger plan with Asda in 2018 . The Issas should take the win and run. (By Aimee Donnellan)

On Twitter

Earlier in Capital Calls:

French M&A risk makes Atos a tricky short read more

U.S. regulatory cloud chocks tobacco stocks, again read more

Meat giant JBS avoids plant-based indigestion read more

Tencent’s loud ESG pitch may fall on deaf ears read more

SXSW’s partial savior read more

Register now for FREE unlimited access to
SIGN UP FOR BREAKINGVIEWS EMAIL ALERTS: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> | Editing by Ed Cropley and Oliver Taslic

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time.

Sign up for a free trial of our full service at and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

More from Reuters