Mar 27, 2017

Two big Tesco shareholders oppose Booker purchase

Two of Tesco's biggest shareholders have come out against the retailer's £3.7bn acquisition of Booker, throwing into doubt its first takeover since its record-breaking £6.4bn loss. Schroders on Monday wrote to Tesco chairman, John Allan, urging him to withdraw from the merger. "The train wreck that is Tesco over the last decade has expanded into new businesses, expanded into new geographies," said Daniel O'Keefe, who manages the Artisan's Global Value funds. The tie-up, which requires majority consent from Tesco shareholders, would combine the convalescing supermarket chain with a wholesaler whose customers range from corner stores to Michelin-starred chefs. In the two years since Mr Lewis took over as Tesco's chief executive, he has won plaudits for returning the group to profit, while dealing with the fallout of an accounting scandal and a withering supermarket price war, exacerbated by the rise of discount chains Aldi and Lidl.

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