Tesco acquires Budgens and Londis owner Booker for £3.7bn

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 | BUSINESS SALE

UK supermarket giant Tesco is to buy food wholesaler and convenience store owner Booker Group for £3.7 billion as it steps into the restaurant and takeaway food sectors.

Booker is the UK’s largest cash-and-carry operator, supplying products including fresh and frozen food to thousands of shops, grocers, pubs and restaurants across the country.

It also owns a number of convenience store brands, including Premier, Family Shopper, Budgens and Londis.
Tesco, already the largest supermarket group in the UK, said the deal will create the "UK's leading food business". Its shares went up 10 per cent on the back of the news.

"Wherever food is prepared and eaten - 'in home' or 'out of home' - we will meet this opportunity with the widest choice and best service available," said Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis.

“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.”

Some analysts said they thought the deal could face a challenge from competition authorities.

James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, told the BBC the deal is "hugely significant".

"Some retailers will welcome this news, others will be concerned about competing with stores supplied through the merged Booker and Tesco business, and some will be uneasy at the prospect of working in partnership with one of their biggest historical competitors."

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