“We are very proud to be investing in Asda, an iconic British business that we have admired for years,” Mohsin and Zuber Issa said in a statement. The brothers are co-CEOs of EG Group, a UK retailer based in Blackburn that operates gas stations and convenience stores at more than 6,000 sites across North America, Europe and Australia.
Asda has more than 600 stores across the United Kingdom and 18 gas stations, according to Walmart. It employs more than 145,000 people and serves more than 18 million customers each week.
Online grocery sales have soared in Britain since coronavirus lockdowns were introduced in March, and Asda has benefited from that trend. The group doubled its online operations during the pandemic, Walmart said.
Asda’s new owners said they want to help the company “serve a wider base of UK shoppers,” and will invest over £1 billion ($1.3 billion) in the next three years into the business and its supply chain.
Walmart will remain a strategic partner, according to Judith McKenna, head of the US company’s international business. “Asda has been a powerhouse of innovation for the rest of the Walmart world, and we look forward to continuing to learn from them in the future,” she said.
Charlie O’Shea, senior credit officer at Moody’s, said the deal will allow Walmart to focus on international markets with more “long-term upside,” such as India and China.
— Jordan Valinsky contributed reporting.