Sainsbury’s spends £46m on failed supermarket merger

Logos of supermarket chains Asda (top) and Sainsbury’s are pictured outside adjacent branches of their stores in Stockport, England, April 30, 2018. — AFP pic
Logos of supermarket chains Asda (top) and Sainsbury’s are pictured outside adjacent branches of their stores in Stockport, England, April 30, 2018. — AFP pic

LONDON, May 1 — British supermarket Sainsbury’s today said it had spent £46 million attempting to merge with Walmart-owned Asda, one week after UK regulators blocked the proposed tie-up.

The hit, equivalent to US$60 million or €53.5 million, was revealed after the Competition and Markets Authority canned a deal that would have created Britain’s biggest supermarket, leapfrogging the country’s largest retailer and rival Tesco.

The charge contributed heavily to Sainsbury’s posting today a 29-per cent slump in annual net profit to £219 million.

Sainsbury’s said in its earnings statement that “£46 million of transaction costs were incurred in relation to the proposed combination with Asda, and principally comprised deal preparation, integration preparation and financing”.

Britain’s long-established supermarkets are facing intense competition from German-owned discounters Aldi and Lidl, as well as online rival Amazon. — Reuters

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