ASDA Agrees To Purchase Netto Foodstores Limited From Dansk Supermarked A/S

  • Agreement offers significant customer benefits on price, quality, range and service
  • Significant step forward in strategic ambition to grow Asda’s supermarkets division
  • Asda set to employ up to twice as many colleagues in each of the converted stores
  • UK Netto stores expected to trade under an Asda fascia by Summer 2011
  • Netto to focus on growth in Scandinavia and Northern Europe
  • Agreement subject to regulatory approval

Asda today (27th May 2010) announced it had reached agreement with Dansk Supermarked A/S to purchase its fully owned subsidiary, Netto Foodstores Limited.

The transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approval, will enable it to convert Netto’s UK locations into Asda stores and integrate them into its new supermarkets division for units smaller than 25,000sq ft.

Asda expects to finalise the transaction after approval from the Office of Fair Trading later this summer and to complete the refurbishment of the Netto stores to trade under an Asda fascia by the middle of 2011. Until official approval is granted, all Netto stores in the UK will continue operations as usual under existing management.

Netto was established in the UK in 1990 and operates 193 stores at an average 8,000sq ft. It is the market leader in Denmark and among the fastest growing discounters in Germany, Poland and Sweden.

Commenting on the agreement, Asda’s president and chief executive Andy Clarke said: “We very much look forward to welcoming Netto’s colleagues into our business and joining our team. Customers will benefit from low prices on a significantly broader range of quality products, complemented by the wide range of services we offer in all our smaller stores.

“The creation of new in-store jobs in a tough economy will also be a welcome boost in scores of communities across the UK.”

With the transformation in range, customers will be able to complete a full weekly shop. As a result Asda will employ up to twice as many colleagues to serve customers compared to a Netto in the same location.

Managing director of Netto, Mr. Claus Juel-Jensen, said that management and staff should be proud of Netto’s success, “Netto has been profitable and was appointed ‘Discounter of the Year’ in 2009. As a major league
player, Asda is the ideal purchaser of our UK business. We have substantial opportunities for growth in Scandinavia and Northern Europe and believe that the time has come to focus our efforts on the development of our business in these countries.”

Asda’s move to acquire all Netto’s UK stores is a key strategic building block in satisfying demand for the retailer in a much broader range of communities across the UK and underlines Asda’s commitment to its smaller stores division.

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About Asda Stores Ltd.

Founded in the 1960s, Asda today is one of Britain’s leading retailers. It has over 170,000 dedicated Asda colleagues serving customers from 374 stores, including 25 ASDA Living stores, 23 depots and eight recycling centres across the UK (Great Britain and Northern Ireland). It has its main home office in Leeds, Yorkshire and its George clothing division based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. Asda serves over 18 million shoppers a week in stores and its growing home shopping business at www.asda.com serves over 97 per cent of UK homes. Asda is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

About Dansk Supermarked and Netto

Founded in 1960, Dansk Supermarked is the largest and most profitable retail company in Denmark with more than 1,300 stores in five countries. 43,000 employees serve customers in the groups market-leading retail brands føtex (warehouses & supermarkets), Bilka (hypermarkets), Netto (discount stores) and Salling (dept. stores). Netto is in itself market leader in Denmark and at the same time the group’s international brand with retail activities in Germany, Poland, Sweden and the UK.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or "Walmart," serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.0 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com.