EG Group may sell off some forecourt sites
EG Group may sell off a proportion of its forecourt sites to avoid an investigation into the takeover of Asda by the group’s founders, Zuber and Mohsin Issa, and their investors.
The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) has identified 36 local areas where it believes proximity of EG Group sites and Asda forecourts could lead to a lessening of competition, leading to a risk that fuel prices could rise. It has given the parties involved in the deal 10 working days to come up with a solution. If not, a phase two investigation would hinder the deal for months and incur major costs to provide all the data required by the CMA.
PRA chairman Brian Madderson said that with stage two investigations having the potential to drag on for as long as 18-24 months it was likely EG Group would want to avoid that. With Asda’s forecourt sites being part of their supermarket offering it is thought that most if not all the sites that would need to be divested would be Euro Garages sites.