Weekly Roundup

Asda’s owners are changing

The Issa brothers and TDR Capital are set to become the new owners of Asda after agreeing a £6.8 billion deal with Walmart. The billionaire founders of the EG Group forecourt business and the British private equity firm will be equal shareholdings in a majority ownership stake. Walmart will retain an equity investment in the business, with an ‘ongoing commercial relationship’ and a seat on the Board.

The Issa brothers, backed by TDR, said they will support and accelerate Asda’s existing strategy. The low-profile entrepreneurs from Blackburn have built a small family business into an empire with around 6,000 forecourts in 10 countries and €20 billion annual revenues. TDR Capital now owns half of the EG group, with Zuber Issa controlling 25% and Mohsin Issa the remaining 25%.

Aldi are doing their bit for the environment

Aldi is claiming it will save more than 100 tonnes of plastic a year by scrapping single-use bags for loose fruit and veg across all its stores. The bags will be removed from all its nearly 900 stores by the end of the year. Instead, shoppers will be encouraged to bring their own containers or buy reusable drawstring produce bags, which are made from recycled bottles and cost 25p each. The move follows a trial in 100 stores across the Midlands earlier this year.

In July, Aldi announced a new commitment to halve the volume of plastic packaging it used by 2025. The supermarket is also on track to have all its own label products as recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022, and branded products sold at Aldi by 2025.

Is Subway bread really bread?

Subway’s bread contains so much sugar it cannot be legally defined as bread, Ireland’s Supreme Court has ruled. The ruling came after a Subway franchisee argued that some of its takeaway products, including teas, coffees and heated filled sandwiches, were not liable for VAT. But the appeal was rejected by a panel of judges, who said the bread’s sugar content was five times the qualifying limit under Ireland’s Value-Added Tax Act of 1972. This meant it could not be categorised as a ‘staple food’, which is not taxed in Ireland.

This is not the first time Subway has been embroiled in controversy over its sandwiches. In 2014, Subway removed a flour whitening agent called azodicarbonamide following a petition. The chemical is used to make yoga mats and shoe rubber and has been banned for consumption by the European Union for over a decade.

As shocking information as this is…it probably won’t put us off going to Subway. I do love my foot-long BLT’s on Hearty Italian (not) Bread. Very nice.