Asda cancels £750m sale of petrol forecourts to EG

Leeds-based supermarket giant Asda and EG Group have terminated a deal that would have seen EG buy Asda’s petrol forecourts for £750 million, the two companies said on Monday.

Both Asda and EG are owned by Blackburn-based billionaire brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity group TDR Capital.

The deal was initially struck in February.

However, regulatory restrictions placed on the Issa brothers and TDR were not lifted until June.

This allowed Asda and EG to start sharing commercial information relating to the prosed deal “and has resulted in several changes to the financial evaluation of the proposed transaction.”

Asda said in a statement: “On 3 February 2021, Bellis Acquisition Company Plc and Bellis Topco Limited entered into agreements to sell certain forecourt assets of Asda to EG Group.

“On 16 June 2021, both the ongoing restrictions imposed under UK Competition Law and the subsequent Competition and Markets Authority ‘Hold Separate Order’ on the acquisition of Asda by TDR Capital and the Issa brothers were lifted.

“This allowed Asda and EG Group’s teams to start sharing commercial information relating to EG’s acquisition of the Asda Forecourt Business which had not been previously possible and has resulted in several changes to the financial evaluation of the proposed transaction.

“As a result, EG and Asda have decided they will no longer proceed with the transaction, and it was terminated as of 18 October 2021.

“Asda remains confident that it will continue to derive synergy benefits from its strategic alliance with EG through key initiatives already underway, including the development of plans to introduce foodservice at Asda locations and the expansion of Asda’s convenience offering, where both companies have confirmed their intention to roll-out the Asda On the Move proposition across EG’s UK forecourts.

“Asda recently announced plans to establish 28 new Asda On the Move convenience stores at EG forecourts this year, with a target of 200 by the end of next year and the ambition to roll out more sites in 2023.

“Asda will retain the petrol forecourts business and the associated revenue and EBITDA.

“The forecourts have been an important footfall driver to the business, supported by its position as a price leader in the supermarket fuel sector.

“Subject to market conditions, management plans to settle the Forecourts Bridge Facility through a combination of £250m cash on hand and a new issuance of long term senior secured debt of £500m.”