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Where next for Asda and Sainsbury’s?

CMA block  merger  > Extensive competition concerns

  • Supermarkets: Over 500 stores overlap –  c.50% of the supermarket portfolio
  • Disposals unlikely to address concerns – neither suitable purchaser nor a package of assets could be found
  • Discounters not an effective alternative to one-stop supermarkets
  • Online: Only three operators (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda) has national presence via store pick model
  • Pure online players (Ocado, Amazon) limit services to certain parts of the UK Entry or expansion by pure online players unlikely to offset competition concerns
  • Fuel:635 PFS operated with 18% market share >  120 sites overlap with a lack of local competition

Our view


  • Refocus on cost-cutting and improve pricing
  • Deeper integration of Argos into store network
  • Fresh investment in stores and online distribution


  • Seek an alternative buyer
  • Private equity – quick exit option but not strategic
  • Spin-off to European grocer possible, attracted by Asda’s UK market foothold
  • Walmart strategic tie-up 
  • Target for Amazon?

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