Retail veteran Lord Stuart Rose has been appointed chairman of Asda, the UK’s third largest supermarket group.
The appointment of former Marks and Spencer CEOs brings Asda and EG Group, both owned by billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa and private equity group TDR Capital, even closer.
Although the two are separate entities, both boards will consist of the Issa brothers, TDR executives Gary Lindsay and Manjit Dale, Rose, and Dame Alison Carnwath, the former chairman of Land Securities.
EG’s board also includes John Carey, former CEO of BP, who will not join the Asda board, which includes Walmart’s US chief operating officer Chris Nicholas.
Asda has not yet appointed a CEO after Roger Burnley’s early departure of the role in August. Mohsin Issa spends four days a week at the grocery store’s headquarters in Leeds and any new CEO will have to adjust to the owner’s active involvement, people close to the matter said.
Rose and Carnwath, who will both join the Asda board next month, “have already provided invaluable support and wisdom to the board of EG Group, and we know that their insight and experience will also add great value to Asda”, the Issa said. brothers said in a statement. The grocer will appoint more non-executive directors in the future, they added.
Rose, who said it was a “very exciting time” to join Asda, stepped down as chairman of Ocado this year. He was appointed chairman of EG Group at the beginning of this year after Deloitte resigned as its auditor last year due to management issues.
The Issa brothers and TDR agreed to buy Asda from Walmart in a £ 6.8 billion deal agreed last year.
They planned to finance the deal with a complex series of debt transactions and asset sales that included the sale of Asda’s filling stations to EG Group for £ 750 million. However, the forecourt sale was canceled last month after fuel suppliers refused to maintain the same terms as were available to the supermarket group.
This cost the grocer about £ 250 million of his own cash and a extra half a billion pounds in debt to finance the transaction.
Asda and EG have previously said they plan to launch a total of 28 convenience stores under the Asda On the Move brand this year, and up to 200 next year.