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Tesco completes £3.7bn acquisition of Booker

RBR Staff Writer Published 06 March 2018

UK’s largest retailer Tesco has completed the £3.7bn purchase of Booker after securing approval of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales.

Shareholders of both the companies voted in favour of the deal last week itself.

After court approval Booker’s shares were delisted from the London Stock Exchange. The deal received regulatory approval back in December.

After the acquisition, with market capitalisation of £20bn, Tesco is now larger than its rivals including Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Ocado combined, Telegraph noted.

With the deal now complete, Booker CEO Charles Wilson will take over Tesco’s UK and Ireland retail and wholesale operations CEO and will report to Tesco Group CEO Dave Lewis.

 Lewis said: "I'm delighted that the shareholders of both companies have supported the merger. This merger is about growth, bringing together our complementary retail and wholesale skills to create the UK's leading food business.”

When the merger was announced early last year, there were concerns about the deal becoming disadvantageous for small businesses. These concerns and fears were investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA, in December last year, concluded that Tesco being a retailer and Booker being a wholesaler did not directly compete with each other head-to-head in most of their activities.

It conducted a two-phased in-depth review and in one of the reviews its interviewed hundreds of small retailers who stated that they are not dependent on just one wholesaler, but on many and often switch between them.

In the survey, the retailers also stated that if Booker raises prices after the acquisition, they would simply stop buying from Booker altogether.

The proposed deal is expected to transform one of Britain’s largest retailer into a supplier to 125,000 shopkeepers, independent convenience stores along with 468,000 restaurants and pubs.

Earlier this year, Tesco unveiled plans to simplify its operational structures in a move that will affect about 1,700 employees.


Image: Tesco completes merger with Booker. Photo: Courtesy of Roger Cornfoot/Wikipedia.org.