Asda in talks over ‘£500m portfolio sale’

Billionaire Asda owners the Issa brothers are reportedly in talks to sell a £500 million chunk of the company’s portfolio in efforts to reduce debt.

Australia-based Macquarie Asset Management is understood to be close to buying the ground rent leases of about 50 Asda stores in Britain, according to a report by React News.

The terms of the deal are understood to include a clause wherein Asda will have the option to regain ownership at the end of a reported 50-year term on the deal.

Asda completed a £2.3 billion takeover of petrol forecourt giant EG Group in May in a deal which encompassed the takeover of 350 petrol stations and over 1,000 food-to-go locations across the UK and Ireland.

Before the merger, EG Group revealed it had accrued losses of $258 million in the past year.

Asda made a similar lease buyback sale in March with the $1.5 billion sale of a proportion of EG Group’s US property portfolio.

Mossin Issah was recently grilled by MPs around claims of anti-competitive fuel pricing, which stemmed from an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority that discovered in 2023 that Asda’s fuel margin target was more than three times what it had been for 2019, while Morrisons doubled its margin target over the same period.

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