Asda paid £375.1 million in interest last year on its owners the Issa brothers and TDR Capital’s highly leveraged £6.8 billion deal to buy the supermarket.
As a result of the £4.06 billion of debt used to finance the takeover, Asda has paid £202 million of interest on external debt, £106 million on lease liabilities, £56 million on intercompany loans and £2 million of additional undisclosed interest payments, according to documents filed at Companies House.
The filings also show that Asda’s owners now value the supermarket at £9.22 billion, according to The Times.
The Issa brothers and TDR, which also jointly own petrol forecourt business EG Group, put in less than £800 million of cash when they snapped up Asda in October 2020.
Asda’s takeover was Britain’s biggest leveraged buyout for more than a decade, before it was eclipsed by private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice’s deal to buy Morrisons for £7.1 billion last year.
Asda made £20.7 billion in sales, including fuel, and £3.03 billion of pre-tax profits for the year to December 31.
It emerged over the weekend that city traders are selling off Asda’s bonds at a discount of almost a fifth, which suggests investors are growing nervous that the supermarket may struggle to pay the money back in full.
Two of Asda’s bonds that were issued in 2020 and 2021 with a value of £2.75 billion are trading at a discount of 17%, while other bonds, with a total value of around £725million when they were first issued, are trading at a discount of about 10%, according to The Mail on Sunday.
The biggest slide was experienced in the past three months.
Like all supermarkets, Asda is facing rising soaring costs and customers that are cutting back on spending in the face of rising inflation. It is also facing intense pressure from discounters Aldi and Lidl who are trying to woo budget-conscious customers away from the big four grocers.
In its first quarter to March 31, Asda’s like-for-likes plunged 9.2%, although the grocer pointed out it was compared to an exceptional period the prior year when the UK was in lockdown.
The grocery giant reported that its like-for-like sales fell 9.2% in the three months to March 31, 2022, compared with what Asda called an “exceptional period” in the first quarter of 2021 when the UK was in its third national lockdown.