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Adrian McKeon moves from Asda to Netto

Adrian McKeon has joined discount grocery chain Netto as trading director, after a year as director of beers, wines and spirits for Asda.

Chief executive of Cobra Beer from 2007 until joining Asda last year, McKeon was previously managing director of Allied Domecq Wines before holding the top job at Beam Global Spirits & Wine.

McKeon’s move to Netto is something of a side step. In a bid to close the gap with market leader Tesco, Asda purchased all of Netto’s 194 stores in May last year, but three weeks ago sold 39 of the 47 Netto stores it has to dispose of in order to win regulatory clearance from the Office of Fair Trading for the £778m deal.

Asda, which is owned by Wal-Mart, has sold 16 stores to Morrisons, 3 to Iceland and 20 to independent chain Haldanes. The Office of Fair Trading consultation period will officially end on 2 February, and Asda is expected to complete the conversion of the Netto chain by the autumn.

Netto, part of the Dansk Supermarket group, has been operating in the UK for 30 years. The move gives Asda a major foothold in the smaller supermarket arena.

Lucy Shaw, 31.01.2011

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