The boards of Tesco, the UK’s leading food retailer, and Booker, the UK’s leading food wholesaler, have announced plans to merge. The two firms said they had reached an agreement on the terms of a recommended share and cash merger to create the UK’s leading food business.
The combined group will bring benefits for consumers, independent retailers, caterers, small businesses, suppliers, and colleagues, as well as delivering significant value to shareholders, Tesco and Booker said in a statement.
The companies said the combined group “will be well placed to serve the large, established ‘in home’ food market as well as the faster growing ‘out of home’ food market. By bringing together Tesco and Booker’s retail and wholesale expertise, supply chain and digital capabilities, the Combined Group will be able to provide greater choice, quality, price and service in the food market, whilst improving efficiency and reducing food waste.”
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said this was the next step in Tesco’s development. “Tesco has made significant progress in turning around our UK retail business. 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.”
Charles Wilson, chief executive officer of Booker said: “Booker is committed to improving choice, prices and service for the independent retailers, caterers and small businesses that we are proud to serve. We believe that joining forces with Tesco offers the potential to bring major benefits to end consumers, our customers, suppliers, colleagues and shareholders.”