Maersk sells British Netto supermarkets to Asda for 778 million pounds

27th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Danish group A.P. Moeller-Maersk said Thursday it was selling the British branch of its Netto supermarkets to British supermarket chain Asda for 778 million pounds.

Dansk Supermarked, which is 68 percent owned by the Danish giant, will sell the 193 stores to Asda for 778 million pounds (923 million euros, 1.1 billion dollars) by September, pending approval from British competition authorities.

A.P. Moeller-Maersk said in a statement the transaction would take place entirely in cash.

Asda is owned by the world's biggest retailer US supermarket giant Wal-Mart.

The supermarkets it will takeover employ some 3,000 people, Maersk said. After the sale, Dansk Supermarked will be left with some 1,100 stores -- mostly Netto supermarkets -- and 40,000 employees.

The Danish company said it would use the sale's revenue to expand in Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

"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," Dansk Supermarked chief executive Erling Jensen said in a statement.

© 2010 AFP

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