U.K. Blocks Merger Between Sainsbury, Walmart’s Asda

Walmart said that the merger of its subsidiary in the United Kingdom, Asda, with rival retailer Sainsbury, has been blocked by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority.

The authority has published its final report on the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury, resulting in prohibition of the merger, Walmart stated. As a result of the CMA’s findings, Asda, its parent Walmart and Sainsbury have mutually agreed to terminate the transaction.

Judith McKenna, CEO of Walmart International, said, “We have been clear from the beginning of the proposed merger about two things. Firstly, that retail is rapidly changing and standing still is not an option, and secondly that we will always ensure our international markets are strong local businesses powered by Walmart.”

Walmart noted that, despite its disappointment with the CMA’s final report and conclusions, it will continue positioning Asda as a strong U.K. retailer delivering for customers. Walmart said it will ensure Asda has the resources it needs to achieve that.

In April of last year, Walmart and Sainsbury had announced their merger bid aimed at uniting the two distinctive  retailers to create a more broadly competitive, adaptable and resilient business.