A new food giant will be created following the announcement that Tesco supermarket is to merge with the UK's largest food wholesale business, the Booker Group, in a £3.7b deal.
The two parties said the combined group will "bring benefits" for consumers, independent retailers, caterers, small businesses, suppliers and colleagues, in addition to "delivering significant value" to shareholders.
Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco, said that what he described as a "merger with Booker" will further enhance Tesco's growth prospects by creating the "UK's leading food business", with combined expertise in retail, wholesale, supply chain and digital.
Charles Wilson, chief executive of Booker, added: "Booker is committed to improving choice, prices and service for the independent retailers, caterers and small businesses that we are proud to serve. We believe that joining forces with Tesco offers the potential to bring major benefits to end consumers, our customers, suppliers, colleagues and shareholders.
Under the terms of the merger, Booker shareholders of the combined group will own around 16% of the combined group.
Wilson will join the combined group's board.
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