Asda will soon be in the hands of private investors. The British supermarket chain has entered the final bidding round, and Apollo, Lone Star and TDR are the last acquisition candidates in the running.
Third time lucky?
The moment of truth is approaching for Asda: this week the deadline to bid on the British supermarket chain is coming to an end. The Walmart subsidiary was put up for sale after the merger with Sainsbury's last year was a definitive failure, but the ride has been bumpy ever since: the outbreak of the corona pandemic temporarily halted the sales process, even though the takeover candidates were already in the second round of bidding.
Discussions were restarted in July and the three candidates from March were expected to be present again. These are the investor groups Apollo, Lone Star and TDR, which have again submitted bids, according to The Grocer. All three were assisted by retail managers. The asking price for the chain would be around 6.5 billion pounds (7 billion euros), but on top of that, Walmart certainly wants to keep a significant minority stake in the supermarket chain.
Consortium of retailers rejected
Apollo Global Management is advised by Rob Templeman, a retail veteran and former CEO of department store chain Debenhams. US investor Lone Star Funds worked with Paul Mason, who was In charge of Asda until 2001. UK-based TDR Capital in turn has the assistance of billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the owners of EG Group's petrol station and roadside restaurant holding company.
A fourth bidder would have emerged at the last minute, but was eventually rejected by the Rothschild business bank, which is assisting Walmart in the sales process. The process is already too far advanced for a new party to be admitted now. However, the names behind the bid are not the least, according to the rumour mill of the London financial world. The consortium would include a former CEO of a major US retailer and a key former executive at John Lewis.