Iceland founder Malcolm Walker is understood to be teaming up with Blackstone’s debt arm GSO to help finance his offer to buy the frozen food chain.
GSO is said to be in discussions to commit more than £300m to the Iceland deal according to the Telegraph. However Iceland insisted it has not teamed up with any backers yet. A spokesman said: “Iceland has not signed up anyone to provide finance.”
Walker is working with a large group of banks including Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, alongside GSO.
Private equity firms TPG, Blackstone and Bain are understood not to have alternative management in place and are seeking involvement from Walker as part of their bids.
Walker has not made a first round bid, but has the right to match any offer that is made to acquire the business. Iceland’s management, including Walker, owns 23% of the retailer.
Morrisons and Asda, which would both need to sell off 200 stores to pass competition obstacles, are eager to get store-by-store profit information however The Telegraph reports that Walker has refused to make this information available due to commercial sensitivities.