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19 December 2023 - Private equity and the retail sector - Oral evidence

Committee Business and Trade Committee
Inquiry Private equity and the retail sector

Tuesday 19 December 2023

Start times: 9:45am (private) 10:00am (public)

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Committee session to examine use of private equity in retail sector

Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa will be among the witnesses at a Business and Trade Committee evidence session examining the use of private equity in the retail sector.

Meeting details

At 10:00am: Oral evidence
Work Private equity and the retail sector (Non-inquiry session)
Chief Economist at Mazars Wealth Management
Emeritus Professor of Accounting at London Business School
Senior Editorial Columnist at Financial Times
National Officer at GMB Union
At 10:45am: Oral evidence
Work Private equity and the retail sector (Non-inquiry session)
Co-Owner at Asda
Chief Financial Officer at Asda
Chief People and Corporate Affairs Officer at Asda
General Counsel and Company Secretary at Asda

Private equity structures enable greater control over businesses by using debt financing to acquire them outright allowing their owners a greater degree of control. In recent years it has been used to buy out several well-known retailers, including Asda, pre-pandemic when the cost of borrowing was low. However, interest rate hikes have left businesses bought using such leveraged buyouts with a heavy debt burden.

In July, following an evidence session at which MPs raised concerns over the opacity and sustainability of Asda’s private equity structure the firm provided further details which were later contradicted by a report in the Evening Standard. The Committee called on Asda to correct the record in writing and published the retailer’s response today.

Asda tried to outline their corporate structure in follow-up correspondence after an appearance before the Committee in July after the Committee raised concerns about the opacity and sustainability of private equity structures. A correction to this was requested by the Committee and published today following reporting that contradicted what the Committee had been told.


Room 8, Palace of Westminster

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