// The billionaire Issa brothers and TDR Capital in pole position to buy Asda in £6.5bn swoop
// However, a formal deal has not been struck as yet
// Speculation had been rife that Walmart would choose Apollo as the preferred bidder
The process to sell off Asda to new owners has inched closer to completion with only one preferred bidder seemingly left in the race.
According to Sky News, a consortium led by billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR Capital has moved into pole position as the preferred bidder for the Big 4 grocer.
While a formal deal has not been struck as yet, Sky News reported that the Issa brothers’ offer made it the leading contender to buy Asda.
- Walmart close to picking preferred bidder for Asda
- US private equity fund drops out of race to acquire Asda
- Asda to tighten safety measures as second Covid-19 wave looms
Walmart has owned Asda for 21 years, and a deal is expected to value the British grocery giant at about £6.5 billion.
Walmart’s decision to select the Issas’ and TDR Capital’s bid would surprise many, given speculation was rife that its preferred bidder would have been Apollo Global Management, the private equity firm that had hired former Debenhams boss Rob Templeman to assist with its takeover bid of Asda.
Following a failed merger with fellow Big grocer Sainsbury’s in 2018, Walmart was forced to put Asda back on the market.
However, the sale process had been put on pause in April while Asda’s management team dealt with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Walmart is expected to maintain a minority stake in Asda once the sale is completed.
Earlier this month, private equity bidder Lone Star dropped out of the race after failing to agree on the potential cost of a long-running equal pay dispute brought by Asda’s mostly female checkout staff.
Lone Star had submitted bids through to value the business of around £6.5 billion.