// Walmart halts sale of Asda as coronavirus pandemic continues
// There is currently no timetable for talks with bidders to restart
Walmart has reportedly put the sale of its majority stake in Asda on hold in a bid to prioritise running the business with unprecedented demand due to the coronavirus crisis.
There is currently no timetable for talks with bidders to restart.
Walmart has told Asda’s leadership team to focus on day-to-day business, CNBC reported.
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In recent months, Asda had been eyed by private equity firms which could have valued the grocer at £7 billion.
Private-equity firms Apollo Global Management Inc, Lone Star Funds and TDR Capital each submitted first-round offers for Asda last month and had been invited to join the next round of bidding.
Walmart had previously said it would proceed with the planned sale of Asda after attracting initial bids from the three buyout firms, even as tightening credit threatened to hamper debt-fuelled deal making.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has led to many Brits stockpiling out of fear, and grocers have reacted to this by introducing rationing rules in a bid to keep everyday essentials in stock.
Last year, the CMA blocked Walmart’s proposed sale of Asda to fellow Big 4 grocer Sainsbury’s because of claims that it would have led to less competition and increased prices.
The parties ultimately terminated the agreement last April, but Walmart said it would look at a possible stock market listing for Asda.