‘Walmart’s Asda Price must be right to secure private equity backing’

Asda sign

On, then off. On, then off. And now back on again. Walmart has resumed efforts to sell off a majority stake in Asda – and hopes it will prove to be third time lucky.

The US retail giant had planned to merge its British grocery business with Sainsbury’s, only for the Competition and Markets Authority to kibosh that ambition in April last year.

Walmart then pursued plan B, investment from private equity houses as part of the path to an Asda IPO, before the coronavirus pandemic called an abrupt halt to those discussions.

Now, following Asda’s “resilience” during the health crisis, talks with “a small number” of interested parties are back on – and there is renewed confidence that Walmart will finally be able to exit the UK sooner rather than later. 

But to do so, Walmart’s Asda Price has to be right.

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