The sale will boost Sainsbury’s value by €978 million. The CEO sang, “Let’s send it, lend it, rolling along. We’re in the money,” while his microphone was still switched on.
Sainsbury’s plans to buy Walmart-owned Asda for over €8 million. The deal has also made Coupe significantly richer. His 1.28 million shares went up in value by over €500,000 since the announcement.
He has since apologised for the song and if it caused any offence. In a statement emailed by the company he said: “This was an unguarded moment trying to compose myself before a TV interview. It was an unfortunate choice of song, from the musical 42nd street which I saw last year.”
Regulators could yet block the deal. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority will begin its investigation of the proposed transaction, raising the prospect that both supermarkets will have to sell some of their stores.
On Monday, Sainsbury’s insisted that it did not expect to close any of its shops.
Sainsbury’s and Asda hope the merger will generate savings and buying power to better compete with its rivals, such as the UK’s leader Tesco and the discount German brands Aldi and Lidl.