US retail giant Walmart said this week that it was exploring the possibility of an IPO of Asda, the UK supermarket, after its proposed £7.3bn takeover by rival Sainsbury’s was blocked by UK competition authorities. If the IPO does go ahead, there is likely to be little market appetite for the first major UK supermarket flotation for more than two decades.
Judith McKenna, head of Walmart’s international division, is reported to have told Asda staff at the company’s headquarters in Leeds this week that Walmart was looking at a stockmarket flotation. She added that the process, if it goes ahead, would “take years”.
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