Asda has sold 39 former Netto stores to rival retailers in line with its settlement with the Office of Fair Trading.

Morrisons has acquired 16 of the stores, representing 120,000 sq ft of retail space, in a deal worth £28.1m.

Independent chain Haldanes has bought 20 stores and will launch them as a new discount chain dubbed Ugo. Three stores have been snapped up by Iceland.

Asda must find buyers for eight further outlets to meet the requirements of the OFT, which demanded that 47 of the 194-store estate be sold off before it approved the £778m takeover.

“Today is another key day in our plan to bring Asda to more customers in many more communities across the UK,” said chief financial officer Judith McKenna.

“We’re one step closer to completing our acquisition of the Netto stores, which will allow us to provide even more space, choice and savings to our millions of customers in the UK.”

Asda will be left with 147 former Netto stores in the UK, adding a total of 1.2 million sq ft of retail space to Asda’s estate.

Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips commented: “These additional stores are an important next step in Morrisons’ growth.  We are building on our strategy to bring Morrisons’ unique offer of freshly prepared, affordable food to more people in Britain.”

Read more
William Smith heads Netto-to-Asda team (27 November 2010)
Small formats: does Asda know something we don’t? (analysis; 20 November 2010)
Kay quits Netto early (11 November 2010)
Asda to offload 47 Netto stores to placate OFT (23 September 2010)