Walmart
WMT
has tied up a deal to sell the U.K. supermarket group Asda Group to gas station tycoons the Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital for £6.8 billion ($8.8 billion) after a merger with Sainsbury was blocked last year.

The transaction—made on a debt-free and cash-free basis—is set to close in the first half of 2021 subject to the usual regulatory approvals. Under the new ownership structure, the Issas and TDR Capital will have majority ownership of Asda through equal shareholdings, with Walmart retaining an ongoing equity investment.

Walmart says that it will have a continuing commercial relationship, expected to be a supply and sourcing arrangement, and it will also retain a seat on the Asda board.

In a statement on the deal, Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart International, said: “We believe it creates the right ownership structure for Asda, building on its 71 year-heritage, whilst bringing a new entrepreneurial flair, not only to Asda, but also to UK retailing. Walmart will retain a significant financial stake, a board seat, and will continue as a strategic partner.”

She went on to praise the U.K. supermarket’s contribution to the world’s biggest retailer, describing Asda as a “powerhouse of innovation for the rest of the Walmart world.”

The Issa brothers are co-CEOs of EG Group, a global convenience and gas station forecourts retailer, headquartered in Blackburn in the U.K. with pro forma revenue in 2019 of almost $30 billion. The Issas founded Euro Garages in 2001, with a single petrol station in Bury, Greater Manchester and now have a diversified portfolio of over 6,000 sites across 10

By Kate Holton and James Davey

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s billionaire Issa brothers and private equity group TDR Capital have bought Asda from Walmart in a deal which gives the British supermarket chain an enterprise value of $8.8 billion and the buyers a platform to roll out smaller stores.

Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who founded petrol station operator EG Group nearly two decades ago, are taking Asda back under British ownership for the first time since 1999, when U.S. retail giant Walmart

paid 6.7 billion pounds for it.

“The Issa brothers have a reputation for good brand partnerships, for convenience and for growth and that’s really what we were interested in for Asda,” Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart International told Reuters on Friday.

McKenna said the deal was not about job cuts and the new owners said they are targeting growth by expanding into convenience shops from its large supermarket and online operations, bringing Asda more in line with market leader Tesco

and No. 2 Sainsbury’s

.

The Issas said they wanted to utilise their experience to help “build a differentiated business” at Britain’s third-biggest supermarket chain, in which Walmart will retain an unspecified minority stake, as well as a commercial relationship and a board seat.

British retail veteran Roger Burnley will remain as CEO of Asda in a deal which ratings agency Moody’s said allows Walmart to continue to refocus its international efforts on markets with more long-term upside, such as India and China.

McKenna would not say for how long Walmart has committed to remain an investor or comment on the possibility of an initial public offering (IPO).

“The brothers and TDR will help make decisions about what that future path looks like,” she said.

The new owners said they will invest more than 1 billion

CISCO, TX, Oct. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – Wilks Brothers, LLC (“Wilks”) appreciates the overwhelming support from the Shareholders of Calfrac Well Services Ltd. (“Calfrac” or the “Company”) (TSX: CFW) and today provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Calfrac and Wilks’ $0.18 cash Premium Offer for the common shares of Calfrac.

Wilks Brothers, LLC (“Wilks”) is a significant, long-term shareholder of Calfrac, who holds approximately 19.78% of Calfrac’s outstanding Common Shares. (CNW Group/Wilks Brothers, LLC.)
Wilks Brothers, LLC (“Wilks”) is a significant, long-term shareholder of Calfrac, who holds approximately 19.78% of Calfrac’s outstanding Common Shares. (CNW Group/Wilks Brothers, LLC.)

1.   Why did Wilks make the Premium Offer?

Wilks made the Premium Offer to provide Shareholders with an actionable alternative to the Management Transaction and to neutralize the threat from Calfrac that, if Shareholders do not approve the Management Transaction, they will be left with no recovery. Calfrac should not be able to threaten its way into a transaction that benefits only its executive chairman and a self-selected group of unsecured creditors.

As Wilks has said in its previous press releases, options create value; the launch of the Premium Offer focused the Board and management of Calfrac on the importance of creating value for Shareholders. Clearly it worked.  Calfrac was forced to go back to the drawing board and improve their own transaction terms. Unfortunately, the Amended Management Transaction announced by Calfrac still does not deliver adequate value to Shareholders and is significantly inferior to Wilks’ Premium Offer.  The only benefit of the Amended Management Transaction is that it has focused the debate on the essential issues: value and fairness.

2.    Calfrac has announced that if their Amended Management Transaction is not implemented, they will cause the original Management Transaction to be implemented through proceedings under the CCAA. Is it fair and legal for Calfrac to try to do this if Shareholders vote down Calfrac’s Amended Management Transaction?

It is