Supermarket giant Tesco has bought food wholesaler Booker in a £3.7bn deal.
Booker is the country’s largest wholesaler, with branches in Leigh and Haydock, and owns the Londis and Budgens convenience store brands.
This merger with Booker will further enhance Tesco’s growth prospects by creating the UK’s leading food business with combined expertise in retail, wholesale, supply chain and digital.Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis
The companies said the deal would bring “benefits for consumers, independent retailers, caterers, small businesses, suppliers and colleagues, as well as delivering significant value to shareholders”.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “This merger with Booker will further enhance Tesco’s growth prospects by creating the UK’s leading food business with combined expertise in retail, wholesale, supply chain and digital.
“Wherever food is prepared and eaten - ‘in home’ or ‘out of home’ - we will meet this opportunity with the widest choice and best service available.”
Experts believe the deal will face regulatory scrutiny from the Competition And Markets Authority.
The deal values Booker at £3.7bn, or 205.3p per share, a 12 per cent premium on Booker’s closing price of 183.1p yesterday.
Booker shareholders will hold 16 per cent of the combined entity and will receive 42.6p in cash.
Shareholders have been asked to approve the deal in a vote.
Mr Lewis said the combination would result in total savings of £20m, but stressed that it will “not be driven by a reduction in roles”.