No stopping Tesco/Booker now

Charles Wilson with Dave Lewis

Tesco’s buyout of Booker cleared its final hurdle yesterday (February 28) when shareholders in both companies gave a massive thumbs-up to the takeover.

The deal, which was valued at £3.7bn when it was announced in January 2017, is now worth around £4bn.

Over 83% of Booker shareholders voted in favour of the acquisition, comfortably clearing a 75% approval threshold.

At a separate meeting earlier in the day, over 85% of Tesco investors gave the nod. Fifty per cent had to say yes for the deal to go through.

The takeover is likely to be completed on Monday (March 5).

Tesco boss Dave Lewis (pictured left) said he was delighted that the shareholders of both companies had supported the deal, which all parties still insist is a merger.

“This merger is about growth, bringing together our complementary retail and wholesale skills to create the UK’s leading food business,” he added.

“This opens up new opportunities to provide food wherever it is prepared or eaten – ‘in home’ or ‘out of home’ – and will benefit our customers, suppliers, colleagues and shareholders.”

Booker’s boss Charles Wilson (pictured right) will take over the reins of Tesco’s UK and Irish retail and wholesale operations from outgoing CEO Matt Davies.

The deal sparked a frenzy of consolidation throughout the industry last year. The Co-op elbowed Sainsbury’s out of the way to buy Nisa for £137.5m, while Morrisons signed a major deal to supply McColl’s stores.

The turmoil has carried on in 2018. Just this week the Forecourt sector was rocked by Motor Fuel Group’s £1.2bn swoop for rival operator MRH.