Asda could be floated on stock market after Sainsbury’s deal blocked

Asda’s US owner has said it is “seriously considering” a stock market flotation for the UK supermarket after the chain’s deal to merge with rival Sainsbury’s was blocked.

Walmart – the world’s biggest retailer – told Asda managers at an event on Tuesday it was mulling listing Asda, but that any preparations would “take years”.

Judith McKenna, Walmart’s international chief executive, said: “While we are not rushing into anything, I want you to know that we are seriously considering a path to an IPO – a public listing – to strengthen your long-term success.”

She added: “Walmart does not have a one-size-fits-all approach to operating its international markets, but a consistent focus on strong local businesses powered by Walmart.”

The comments come after Britain’s competition watchdog put paid to Sainsbury’s audacious £12 billion bid to merge with rival Asda earlier this month.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) vetoed the deal, saying it would lead to increased prices in stores, online and at petrol stations across the UK, with shoppers left “worse off” and quality affected.

The move has sparked speculation over Walmart’s plans for Asda, with rumours it may try to sell the Big Four chain or spin it off.

Walmart bought Asda in 1999 for $8.6bn.

Asda has reported seven quarters in a row of like-for-like sales growth, but the big players are under pressure amid intense competition from German discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Asda’s like-for-like sales rose 1% in its fourth quarter, with recent trading boosted by moves to slash prices, invest in own-brand products and improve its online service.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Mosque attack survivor says UK Government blindsided by rise of far right

St Pat's revive European ambitions with win over Derry

Farage: My party will want seats on EU’s Brexit team if we top election

Millie Bobby Brown says she switched schools after being bullied

More in this Section

International interest expected as Cork apartment block goes on market for €17.5m

KBC Ireland chief: Brexit still 'a big sword of Damocles' despite upbeat outlook for economy

International firms hail Cork growth in tech and pharma

Economists claim concentration of jobs in Dublin region has 'actually increased' since 2016


Lifestyle

Are these the comfiest knickers ever?

Film-makers at Schull Fastnet Film Festival reveal their favourite movies

The Skin Nerd: Is Kylie Skin set to be a kult klassic or miss the mark?

GameTech: Minecraft now set to take over the real world

More From The Irish Examiner