This week we learnt that two of the UK’s top supermarkets are merging, shaking up grocery shopping for generations to come. The £13 Billion merger between Walmart-owned Asda and Sainsbury’s, which recently bought out Nectar, is set to create a grocery powerhouse that can finally compete against Tesco Stores.
Following the announcement shares rocketed and the public was happy to hear prices would receive a 10% cut as a consequence of the merger. Rpeorts indicate no jobs will be cut, nor will any stores be closed. So what is this merger all about?
Finance Monthly spoke to Dr Naaguesh Appadu, Research Fellow at Cass Business School and member of the Mergers & Acquisitions Research Centre, who comments on Sainsbury’s and Asda agreeing to £13bn merger.
Dr Naaguesh Appad said: “This deal is about market share. Neither Sainsbury’s nor Asda can afford to stay quiet. You just have to look at the grocery sector right now: Tesco has acquired Booker and Morrisons supplies products to Amazon. Therefore, it is key to show the leadership in terms of groceries for the Sainsbury’s/Asda merger to happen. It should be noted that they neither company can grow organically, and they don’t have the option of staying away Tesco, from the current market leader.
“This deal with see the consumer win two-fold. First, customers will be able to access more products and second, they’ll enjoy lower prices (execs have stated 10%) on common products due to competition on suppliers. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in terms of competition, now that executives have stated there are no plans to close Sainsbury’s or Asda stores.”