Economy

Booker and Tesco shareholders approve merger

Booker and Tesco shareholders approve merger

Britain's biggest grocer required the support of 50 percent of votes cast to pass the deal which is set to create the UK's biggest food group.

It has also sparked a huge period of consolidation in the food and drink wholesale industry.

Leading investor advisory agencies had raised concerns about the deal.

Glass Lewis told Booker investors Tesco's proposed premium for Booker "clearly lags regional trends".

Meanwhile Tesco shareholders, including Artisan Partners and Schroders, were among those who expressed opposition.

More news: Ed Sheeran Was 2017's Biggest Seller

Artisan wrote to Tesco's board last week urging the retailer to "walk away from the deal" after expressing its "disbelief" at reports Booker shareholders wanted more of a premium.

It helped that Wilson was prepared to convert his 6pc stake in Booker into about 1pc of Tesco, a move that helped convince doubters.

The UK's largest supermarket back in January 2017 surprised the market by announcing a GBP3.7 billion cash and stock deal to buy Booker, which supplies to the Budgens and Londis branded chain of convenience stores and owns Makro cash and carry stores.

But the CMA said it was clear the two firms did not now compete head-to-head in most of their activities - such as supplying the catering sector, which accounts for 30% of Booker's business.

The cash and shares deal, valued at 3.7 billion pounds when it was agreed in January previous year, is now scheduled to complete on March 5.


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