Walmart to sell UK unit Asda in $8.8 billion deal

In this May 16, 2011 photo, the Walmart logo is displayed on a store in Springfield, Ill. Consumers spent less on big-ticket home items such as furniture and appliances in May as the housing market continued to slump, but categories such as clothing and luxury items fared better, according to data released Wednesday by MasterCard Inc.(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

LONDON (AP) — Retail giant Walmart has agreed to sell its British chain of supermarkets, Asda, to the investors behind an international group of gas stations and food shops in a deal that values the company at 6.8 billion pounds ($8.8 billion).

Brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, along with investors TDR Capital will acquire a majority of Asda, while Walmart will retain a minority stake and a seat of the board, the parties said in a joint statement issued Friday. Details of the deal weren’t released.

The agreement comes more than a year after regulators rejected U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury’s bid to acquire Asda amid concerns the merged company would have too big a share of the country’s market. Asda has seen its fortunes improve during the pandemic, with shoppers stocking up on extra groceries.

The new owners pledged that Asda would remain based in the English city of Leeds, and committed to keeping prices low amid tough economic conditions and potential new tariffs on EU-imported foods following Brexit.

The Issa Brothers are the founders of Euro Garages, which has more than 6,000 gas stations and convenience stores in Europe, North America and Australia. The company partners with brands such as Starbucks, Burger King and KFC at its larger outlets.