06/11/2008

Asda Takeover Of Dunnes Rumoured

Jobs may be in danger as rumours emerge of a possible major deal between US-owned Asda and Irish-flagflyer, Dunnes stores.

The trade union representing staff at Dunnes Stores has written to the company seeking clarification of rumours that it may be taken over by Asda, which is a major UK supermarket chain.

The union Mandate says there has been persistent speculation about a possible takeover bid.

Dunnes Stores is Ireland's largest retailer and has a total of 153 outlets employing 18,000 people.

The department chain is presently being run by Frank Dunne and Margaret Heffernan who was listed as Ireland's second richest woman with assets of €603 million in the Sunday Times Rich List 2006.

The family-run company is in the midst of changing hands to the next generation with both Margaret Heffernan and her brother Frank Dunne are giving their shares in phases to their children.

Sharon McMahon, niece of Frank Dunne and Margaret Heffernan is also becoming a significant player, having bought out her brother's shares in the company.

Neither Dunnes Stores nor Asda have commented on the takeover speculation, but trade union bosses at Mandate said their staff deserves to know where they stand.

(DW)

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