Debenhams & Asda ex-CEOs lining up £6.5bn private equity bids for Asda

Asda walmart Rob Templeman debenhams paul mason Roger Burnley covid-19
The auction of Asda is likely to conclude before the end of the year
// Ex-Debenhams CEO and ex-Asda CEO are working with private equity groups on a £6.5bn bid for Asda
// Formal takeover bids are expected to be tabled early next month

Former Debenhams chief executive Rob Templeman and former Asda chief executive Paul Mason are reportedly working with private equity groups on a £6.5 billion bid for Asda.

Templeman previously ran Debenhams as a private and publicly listed business and is on board with Apollo Global Management while Lone Star Funds is working with Mason on the potential bid for Asda, Sky News reported.

Formal takeover bids are expected to be tabled early next month.


US grocer Walmart began talks about a sale of a majority stake in UK grocer Asda after its proposed merger with rival grocer Sainsbury’s was blocked last year by the CMA.

Walmart said it would pursue a majority stake sale or IPO instead.

Templeman has previously worked with Apollo during its ownership of Gala Coral, the bookmaker which is now part of GVC Holdings.

Meanwhile, Mason ran Asda until he stepped down in 2001, and also served as chief executive of Somerfield.

He has also chaired retailers including Cath Kidston, Matalan, New Look and Dr Martens.

On Tuesday, Asda revealed that its online sales doubled in the past quarter after the coronavirus pandemic caused a “structural shift” in customer shopping habits.

The retailer reported a 3.8 per cent jump in like-for-like sales for the three months to June 30, and it increased its delivery capacity by 65 per cent during the period.

Walmart said Asda would focus on expanding its online sales capacity.

The latest Kantar grocery data revealed that Asda’s market share dropped by a mere 0.6 per cent to 14.3 per cent in the 12 weeks to August 9.

Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said the pandemic had “accelerated online capacity expansion to meet levels we had anticipated reaching in eight years within a matter of weeks”.

The auction of Asda is likely to conclude before the end of the year, while Walmart is likely to retain a minority stake.

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette’s free daily email newsletter


  1. 6.5 Billion? That is a lot of debt to load onto a supermarket with falling market share, stores that are too big in a time of online ordering. ASDA Disaster.

  2. we all know the track record for private equity companies. soon asda will have it’s freehold properties sold off on upward only rent reviews. it will also be laden with massive debts.
    then what will happen to Asda when it is not able to pay of the debts and ever increasing rents in a few years time? the few dozen working for the private equity company would have made millions for themselves, whilst Asda goes bust. the government needs to intervene here by restricting on who can buy Asda and putting conditions regarding selling the freehold properties


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here