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Walmart 'seriously considering' Asda IPO

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Wednesday 15 May 2019

Walmart 'seriously considering' Asda IPO

(Sharecast News) - Supermarket chain Asda could be floated, staff were told on Wednesday, after the competition authorities derailed its proposed tie-up with rival J Sainsbury.
Talking to managers at a company event in Leeds, Judith McKenna, president and chief executive of Walmart International, confirmed that a stock market listing was being considered. But she added that such a move could "take years".

Asda was acquired by US retail giant Walmart in 1999. Last year, it was announced that Asda had agreed to be taken over by Sainsbury's in a £7bn deal, but the Competition and Markets Authority last month blocked the deal on concerns it could increase prices, reduce quality and choice, or deliver "a poorer shopping experience for all their UK shoppers".

It concluded that there was no other way to address its concerns than to block the merger.

Walmart, which would have kept a significant stake in the enlarged business, is now understood to be looking at a range of options for Asda's future.

According to the BBC, McKenna told staff: "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."

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