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Reuters reports that Tesco has agreed to spend the equivalent of $4.5 billion to acquire Booker Group, a cash-and-carry wholesaler that supplies hundreds of thousands stores, pubs and restaurants in the UK, as well as owns three c-store banners. The deal is said to give Tesco greater "exposure to the fast growing catering sector."

According to the story, "The planned cash and shares takeover shows the supermarket chain's renewed confidence after two years of gradual recovery under Chief Executive Dave Lewis after an accounting scandal ... Friday's move marked a dramatic change of gear and signals even more focus on its British business where it has a 28 percent share of the grocery market."

""It's the next evolution of our strategy...We think it's the right time," Lewis said, adding that "the deal was compelling in its own right and not a reaction to a tougher competitive environment. He said the two companies had been talking for more than a year."

The proposed deal is expected to face "close regulatory scrutiny, particularly because of its impact on customers at smaller convenience stores and food industry suppliers."
KC's View:
I guess Tesco is feeling its oats again.