Sainsbury’s and Asda could be forced to sell at least 73 supermarkets and be made to shut as many as 245 across the UK if their proposed £15bn merger goes ahead, according to new research.
The deal is set to face huge scrutiny by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the regulator can force the combined group to sell stores in areas where competition is at risk.
The number of shops at risk is at least 6 per cent, or 73, of the companies’ combined store portfolio, according to David Haywood, founder of Maximise UK, a consultancy that identifies profitable new locations for retailers.
Haywood told the BBC: “There hasn’t been a retail deal like this in more than a decade. The real focus will be on how Sainsbury’s and Asda’s main supermarkets operate at a local level and how they overlap. The CMA will be concerned about whether the deal reduces the number of competing brands within a 10 or 15 minute drive time.”