The deal, believed to be worth £778m, is subject to approval from the Office of Fair Trading, but Asda expects to have completed it by late summer.
Asda plans to refurbish all Netto’s UK stores and have them trade under its own fascia by mid-2011.
The acquisition of 193 stores, averaging 8,000 sq ft, represents a massive acceleration of Asda plans to roll-out smaller supermarkets. It has 22 stores under 25,000 sq ft, and former CEO Andy Bond told analysts last month Asda wanted to increase this to 100 within five years.
Asda will employ up to twice as many staff compared to Netto in each store.
“We very much look forward to welcoming Netto’s colleagues into our business and joining our team,” said CEO Andy Clarke. “Customers will benefit from low prices on a significantly broader range of quality products, complemented by the wide range of services we offer in all our smaller stores.”
Netto said it wanted to focus its efforts on developing its business in Scandinavia and Northern Europe.
Asda sales suffer in ‘disappointing’ first quarter (18 May 2010)
Netto plotting 200th store as profits soar (8 May 2010)