Asda issued a £2.1bn dividend last year to help their private equity owners juggle their debts, according to accounts published today.
The supermarket clarified that the dividend was paid to parent company Bellis Finco, owned by the Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital, in September last year to “settle intercompany balances”.
The dividend contributed to around a £1.8bn drop in Asda’s assets.
Earlier this month, EG Group, also owned by the Issas and TDR, revealed that it was able to reduce debts by 41% via the sale of most of its UK business to Asda and various sale and leaseback deals involving US property.
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Asda struck a deal to buy the UK operations of petrol station giant EG Group, which is also owned by the Issa brothers and TDR Capital, in a £2.27bn deal.
The grocer’s chair Lord Rose said at the time: “Asda’s acquisition of EG UK and Ireland will create a consumer champion like the UK has never seen.“
A spokesperson for the supermarket said of the dividend:”Asda Group Limited accounts for the financial year ending December 2022 show that a number of intercompany balances were transferred to the parent company of Asda Group Limited.
“This was part of an exercise to settle intercompany balances between different group companies during the year within the Bellis Finco plc group of companies. These were all non-cash transactions and no cash dividends were paid by ASDA or Bellis Finco plc.”