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Martin Scicluna named Sainsbury’s chairman

Published on: July 11th, 2018

Sainsbury’s has unveiled Martin Scicluna as the successor to long-serving chairman David Tyler today. 

As reported by Sky News, Martin Scicluna, a veteran of blue-chip boardrooms, has been picked to succeed David Tyler. Martin, who leads RSA – the FTSE-100 insurer – has been named as the retail chain’s new chairman as it tries to steer through a £15b merger with Asda to create Britain’s biggest food retailer.

An announcement about the appointment of Martin’s was made this morning at Sainsbury’s annual meeting in London.

The news of Martin’s appointment is likely to be welcomed by investors, some of whom have expressed scepticism about the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s.

Martin will take the helm of the company in March 2019 or soon after.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an in-depth inquiry into the merger, which will create a retail behemoth with 2,800 stores across Britain.

The merger will see Leeds-based Asda valued at £7.3b, with the chain’s current US owner Walmart paid £3b in cash and given a 42% stake in the combined business.

That structure is expected to see Walmart reduce its stake over a multi-year period and potentially exit the UK grocery industry altogether following a long period in which Asda’s low-price positioning has been eroded by the growth of discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.

Executives have said there are no plans to close stores or cut jobs as a consequence of the deal, which is expected to deliver operational savings of £500m.

The companies have pledged that customers will see benefits including price cuts of up to 10% on many of the products that go into the weekly shop of millions of UK households.

Both the Asda and Sainsbury’s brands will be retained.

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