Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket chain, is set to acquire Booker, the UK’s largest food wholesaler for 3.7 billion pounds (4.3 billion euro).
“Enhance growth prospects”
Over the past few years, Tesco has mainly been trying to steady the ship after an accounting scandal left it in financial turmoil. CEO Dave Lewis was forced to make some hard choices, selling activities abroad and accepting huge losses to put the annus horribilis behind it.
In late 2015, it managed to outperform expectations and the company has doubled down on its efforts to turn around its UK retail business and maintain its competitive edge. It has now acquired the Booker group, the country’s largest food wholesaler and owner of several brands including convenience store chains Londis and Budgens.
The acquisition will hand Booker a 16 % share in the combined group, while its chief executive Charlie Wilson will join Tesco’s board and executive committee. "This merger with Booker will further enhance Tesco's growth prospects by creating the UK's leading food business with combined expertise in retail, wholesale, supply chain and digital”, Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said. Booker’s CEO, Charlie Wilson, believes that “joining forces with Tesco offers the potential to bring major benefits to end-consumers, our customers, suppliers, colleagues and shareholders."