UK CMA prohibits merger of Walmart subsidiary Asda with Sainsbury's
The UK Competition and Markets Authority, or CMA, has published its Final Report on the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury's, resulting in prohibition of the merger. Despite the clear customer benefits of the proposed merger, as a result of the CMA's findings, Asda, its parent Walmart and Sainsbury's have mutually agreed to terminate the transaction. Commenting on the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury's, Judith McKenna, CEO of Walmart International, said: "We have been clear from the beginning of the proposed merger about two things. Firstly, that retail is rapidly changing and standing still is not an option, and secondly that we will always ensure our international markets are strong local businesses powered by Walmart. The UK remains one of the most competitive retail markets in the world and Asda's seven consecutive quarters of year-on-year growth show it is a strong business with a clear strategy and focused leadership. It was against that backdrop that we decided to explore the proposed merger with Sainsbury's - an opportunity which would have further strengthened the Asda business and delivered real benefits for UK customers. While we're disappointed by the CMA's final report and conclusions, our focus now is continuing to position Asda as a strong UK retailer delivering for customers. Walmart will ensure Asda has the resources it needs to achieve that. I would like to personally thank and recognize Roger and the entire Asda team for their incredible focus and approach during the merger process. They have had the customer at their heart at every step, and I know they will continue to do so." Roger Burnley, CEO of Asda, commented: "Asda's DNA is delivering low prices for hard working families and that will never change. We were right to explore the potential merger with Sainsbury's, which would have delivered great benefits for customers and supported the long term, sustainable success of our business. We're disappointed with their findings but will continue to find ways to put money back into customer's pockets and deliver great quality and service in an ever changing and demanding market. I have always been hugely aware that the last year has been an unsettling time for all of our colleagues and am immensely grateful for their commitment and dedication during that time. Our focus is now on the most important job we all have - delivering for our customers."