Tesco buying UK wholesale giant Booker in €4.3bn deal

Booker shareholders will each receive 0.861 new Tesco shares and 42.6 pence in cash


Britain’s biggest supermarket Tesco has agreed to buy Booker, the country’s largest cash and carry wholesale supplier, for about £3.7 billion (€4.35 billion), cementing its dominant position in the UK.

In a joint statement on Friday, Tesco and Booker said the combined group would bring benefits for consumers, independent retailers, caterers, small businesses, suppliers, and staff as well as value to shareholders.

“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,” said Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis.

The deal sees Lewis, who took the helm at Tesco in 2014 when the firm was in crisis and losing market share rapidly, switch to acquisition mode from his strategy of streamlining the sprawling international business.

His focus has been on reviving Tesco’s main grocery business in Britain and over the last two years he has sold Tesco’s South Korean arm for $6.1 billion (€5.7bn), as well as its Turkish business and the Giraffe restaurant chain.

Under the terms of the deal each Booker shareholder will receive 0.861 new Tesco shares and 42.6 pence in cash.

Based on Tesco’s closing share price on Thursday of 189 pence the deal represents a value of 205.3 pence per Booker share – a premium of about 12 per cent on its Thursday close.

The deal will result in Booker shareholders owning about 16 per cent of the combined group.

– Reuters