George, the fashion brand owned by Asda, is set to undergo a change in ownership as Walmart sells the UK supermarket chain. The sale, valued at £6.8 billion ($8.8 billion), is being made to a consortium led by private equity group TDR Capital and the founders of EG Group. This price is significantly lower than the proposed £10 billion merger with Sainsbury’s that was discussed a few years ago, but slightly higher than what Walmart originally paid for Asda 21 years ago. Despite the change in ownership, Walmart will retain an equity stake in Asda.

The acquisition by TDR and the Issa brothers, owners of EG Group, represents a new era for Asda. The supermarket chain has faced challenges in recent years and its new owners will be tasked with rejuvenating its performance. This sale also marks the first time since 1999 that Asda will be owned by a UK-based entity.

While Asda’s fashion range, George at Asda, is well-known, the company has struggled to compete with other supermarkets that have expanded their fashion offerings. The entry of Aldi and Lidl into the market has only intensified the competition. The aim of the TDR and Issa deal is to address these challenges and turn around Asda’s fortunes.

Despite the change in ownership, Walmart will maintain an equity stake in Asda and continue its commercial relationship with the company. Walmart will also have a seat on Asda’s board, ensuring its continued involvement. Roger Burnley, the current CEO, will remain in his position.

There were concerns that potential buyers were solely interested in Asda’s properties rather than its retail operations. However, TDR and the Issa brothers have committed to investing over £1 billion in the chain over the next three years. This investment is aimed at protecting Asda’s supply chains and maintaining low prices for customers.

Overall, the sale of Asda to the consortium led by TDR Capital and the Issa brothers signals a new chapter for the UK supermarket chain. The focus will be on revitalizing its fashion offerings and addressing competition from other retailers. The new owners are determined to secure a prosperous future for Asda.

Useful links:
1. BBC News: Asda sold to billionaire Issa brothers and TDR Capital
2. Reuters: Retail giants Walmart, TDR agree to collectively buy Iscar’s Israeli pad maker for $630 million