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1st February 2023

ASDA MERGER PROMPTS FRESH GMB CALLS TO EXTEND CMA POWERS

Merger raises the spectre of a private equity black hole on the UK high street, says GMB Union

Asda merger talks which could see the company combine its petrol and supermarket divisions have prompted fresh calls from GMB to expand the powers of the competition and markets authority (CMA).

The billionaire owners of Issa brothers are exploring a merger of the supermarket and their UK petrol forecourts business in a blockbuster deal that would create a retail giant worth more than £10 billion.

The combination would create a group with 581 supermarkets, 700 petrol forecourts and more than 100 convenience stores in a bid to refinance the current debt.

Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said: 

“This proposed merger raises the spectre of a private equity black hole on the UK high street.

“More and more of our essential household goods – from food to fuel – are controlled by unaccountable private equity backers.

“This merger isn’t in the interests of the 200,000 impacted workers, or the UK economy, or even consumes.

“It simply suits the debt refinancing arrangements of a private equity firm and their business partners.

“GMB stands on the side of hard-working families in calling for the role of the CMA to be expanded – giving greater regulatory oversight in relation to private equity buyouts and ensuring greater protection of both consumers and workers.”