Sainsbury's CEO caught singing before Asda merger interview

Asda store

Under the terms of transaction, Bentonville, Ark. -based Walmart would hold 42 percent of the share capital of the merged business.

On Monday, Unions and politicians raised concerns that the £12bn deal to create Britain's largest supermarket chain will result in jobs losses, store closures and a poorer deal for shoppers as more power is concentrated in a "duopoly" including current market leader Tesco. "As a company, we've benefited from doing business in the United Kingdom for many years, and we look forward to working closely with Sainsbury's to deliver the benefits of the combination".

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said they will carry out a review of the merger that will create Britain's biggest retail store group, accounting for a 30-percent share of the market and knocking Tesco off the top perch.

Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe will retain that position in the merged company, which will keep the Sainsbury's and Asda brands.

The CEO of Sainsbury's has apologised after he was caught on camera singing "We're in the money" following the Asda merger announcement.

"It was an unfortunate choice of song from the musical '42nd Street, ' which I saw past year, and I apologize if I have offended anyone", Coupe said in the statement.

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Analysts said the deal was a bet that recent changes in the retail industry - including the rise in online shopping, hard discounters and Tesco's purchase of Booker - would ease any opposition from competition regulators.

The combined business would have total revenues of £51 billion.

"This proposed merger represents a unique and bold opportunity, consistent with our strategy of looking for new ways to drive global growth", addedJudith McKenna, president and CEO of Walmart worldwide.

"We look forward to working closely with Sainsbury's to deliver the benefits of the combination".

The combination of Sainsbury's and Asda would control nearly a third of the United Kingdom grocery market, putting it ahead of Tesco.

Sainsbury's was launched by a young couple, John James Sainsbury and Mary Ann Staples, when they opened a small London dairy shop on the day they married in 1869, according to the company's website. Further, Walmart would receive about £2.975 billion (US $4.095 billion) in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments, valuing Asda at around £7.3 billion (US $10.05 billion) on a debt-, cash- and pension-free basis.

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