Sainsbury’s CFO to take over at Argos owner Home Retail

Supermarket targets Argos to create UK’s largest general merchandise business

British supermarket Sainsbury's said its finance boss John Rogers would become chief executive of Home Retail when it completes a takeover designed to reduce its reliance on food and drink sales.

Sainsbury’s £1.4 billion pound (€1.8 billion) offer for Home Retail, the owner of Argos, was recommended by the Home Retail board in April.

The deal remains subject to regulatory and shareholder approval with Britain’s competition watchdog currently examining the tie-up. Sainsbury’s hopes to complete the deal in the third quarter of the year.

Rogers, who has been Sainsbury’s chief financial officer since 2010 and last year was also given control of online and strategy, will be responsible for combining Sainsbury’s non-food business with Argos.

Sainsbury’s is buying Argos to try to accelerate growth by creating Britain’s largest general merchandise retail business at a time of intense competition in the supermarket sector.

Home Retail said in a separate statement on Friday that its chief executive John Walden would quit when the takeover by the supermarket is finalised.

Walden could potentially walk away with as much as £5 million pounds (€6 million) in cash and shares depending on what Home Retail’s remuneration committee determines for his long term, performance-linked share awards.

Home Retail is currently checking whether it has overcharged customers.

It said on Thursday that it may need to increase a provision by up to £30 million to compensate financial services customers who were overcharged, taking the shine off its best quarterly trading report for two years.

- Reuters