CMA could halt Asda’s £600m petrol forecourt deal

15th March 2023 | Jack Oliver

A deal which could see 132 Co-Op petrol forecourts become part of Asda is set to be subject to a phase two investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA said its investigation into the merger found that the acquisition could mean higher prices or less choice for motorists and shoppers in 13 areas.

Colin Raftery, CMA senior director of mergers, said: “While competition concerns don’t arise in relation to the vast majority of the 132 sites bought by Asda, there’s a risk that customers could face higher prices or worse services in a small number of areas where Asda would face insufficient competition in either groceries or fuel after the deal goes through”.

Asda finalised the deal to take control of the sites in October 2022, for a total value of around £600m which included 129 existing sites along with three development sites.

The arrangement would see some 2,300 Co-Op employees transfer to Asda.

Although Asda holds ownership of the sites, the deal is subject to approval from the CMA, which issued an ‘Initial Enforcement Order’, which requires the purchased sites to remain separate from Asda until the investigation is concluded, a common procedure for deals of this size.

Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa said that Asda was looking forward to working constructively with the CMA over the coming days.

In January, trade union GMB called for greater CMA powers after Asda’s billionaire owners looked to merge the retailer with their petrol forecourt business EG Group in a deal worth £12bn.


Looking for more retail news? you might find these interesting