Walmart will move forward with the planned sale of its British subsidiary Asda. Three investment companies are said to be interested in the supermarket chain.
Apollo Global Management, Lone Star Funds and TDR Capital each submitted bids for Asda in the first round and have been invited to participate in the next round, Bloomberg reports. TDR cooperates with its portfolio company EG Group, a British retailer operating petrol stations and fast food restaurants in Europe and the United States. A deal could value the company at over seven billion pounds (almost eight billion euros).
Meanwhile, some candidates fear that the market volatility caused by the coronavirus outbreak will hamper their access to cheap financing. It is therefore not certain that they will go through with binding bids for the company. Walmart could still decide to keep Asda longer if the bids fail to meet expectations.
Asda is one of the "Big Four" in the United Kingdom, along with Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons. The British competition watchdog blocked the merger plans of Asda and Sainsbury's last year, fearing that the deal would lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers.