Reuters API
Feb 25, 2021
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After Issa bros takeover, Asda says 5,000 jobs at risk

Reuters API
Feb 25, 2021

British supermarket group Asda said on Thursday 5,000 jobs were at risk from a restructuring announced a week after the Issa brothers and private equity company TDR Capital acquired the business.

The billionaire brothers and TDR completed the purchase of a majority holding in Asda from Walmart on Feb. 16 in a deal giving it an enterprise value of 6.8 billion pounds ($9.5 billion).

The deal still requires regulatory approval, with the parties subject to an enforcement order from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to ensure Asda continues to operate independently from its buyers while it conducts its investigation.

Asda, which currently employs 145,000, said it had started a consultation with workers potentially impacted by operational changes.

These include the closure of two home shopping centres impacting 800 workers, the removal of some store-level management roles impacting 1,100 and the removal of 3,000 store "back office" staff.

Asda said it would try to move as many staff as possible into alternative roles, with redundancy the last option.

The group said it would create 4,500 new jobs in store-based online operations this year.

"As customer habits continue to change we have to evolve our business to meet these demands and ensure our business is strong and sustainable for the long term," said CEO Roger Burnley.

He added that the plans would result in more Asda jobs being created than those it proposes to remove.

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