Petrol station tycoons, the Issa brothers, today teamed up with private equity group TDR Capital to buy Asda for £6.8 billion from US giant Walmart.
The deal comes just over a year after competition authorities blocked Sainsbury from merging with the group.
Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, will retain a minority stake in the business and the existing Asda management team under chief executive Roger Burnley will stay in place.
Mohsin and Zuber Issa own the EG group convenience stores and petrol forecourts retailer, based in Blackburn.
They said they would add their expertise in smaller stores and brand partnerships – areas Asda has yet to tackle.
The buyers pledged to invest more than £1 billion over the next three years “to further strengthen the business and its supply chain”.