// 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.
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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.