Walmart (WMT) in the US is considering putting UK supermarket giant Asda on the stock exchange, according to reports by Reuters, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times.
According to the range of reports, Walmart International CEO Judith McKenna, told Asda managers at an event in Leeds, northern England, on Tuesday: “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.”
“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,” she added.
The news comes just a month after the regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), blocked a plan to tie-up Asda with Britain’s second largest grocer Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L). Asda is currently the third largest supermarket in the UK while its parent company Walmart is the world’s largest retailer.
The deal between Sainsbury’s and Asda would have created the UK’s biggest supermarket chain, overtaking Tesco (TSCO.L), but the CMA said it should not go ahead as prices would rise and it would reduce choice and quality of products.