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Simon Arora rejects speculation on Asda takeover


BRITISH Indian billionaire Simon Arora has dismissed the speculation that his business could launch a reverse takeover of Asda.

The latest statement from Arora has come after the proposed merger of Asda with its rival supermarket chain Sainsbury’s was blocked by the British competition watchdog, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last month.

Chief executive of B&M Bargains added that his business is focused on the potential for its organic store growth.

Arora, 49, further said his firm aims to raise the total number of stores to 950 from existing 920 stores.

The B&M boss clarified that he was not focusing on merger and acquisition as his firm has a lot of things to finish to achieve its business targets.

He said his company had sealed an acquisition of food chain ‘Heron Foods’ 24 months ago. However, the £152 million deal was less than the £7 billion Asda price tag.

Walmart owned company’s shops are too big and the retail market analysts opine that small retail business groups may opt not to take over the business.

Asda is also seriously considering a mass-market début.

Meanwhile, CMA said yesterday (23) that it would pass an order to stop Sainsbury’s and Asda from merging in the next 10 years.

Despite a downward trend in the British retail sector, B&M Bargains posted a 9 per cent rise in annual pre-tax profits to £249.9m.

The annual sales touched a record £3.5bn.

The company also plans to start new 50 stores this year and open a distribution centre in Bedford with a staff strength of 1,000.

B&M has recently leased space from Marks & Spencer in Pudsey, West Yorkshire.

Arora’s company opened 52 shops last year.