// Apollo Global Management and Lone Star Funds emerge as frontrunners for Asda buy-out
// Sources believe sale could be confirmed this Friday
The sale of the UK’s third biggest supermarket, Asda, could reportedly be confirmed as early as Friday, September 25.
Asda owner Walmart put the retailer up for sale after its much-discussed merger with Sainsbury’s was blocked by competition authorities last year.
Now sources close to the deal say a decision could be made as early as this week, This is Money reported.
READ MORE: Deadline looms for Asda takeover bids
Both Apollo Global Management and Lone Star Funds have already submitted bids through to value the business of around £6.5 billion.
Debenhams’ former chief executive Rob Templeman has been helping Apollo to oversee their bid.
Templeman has previously worked with Apollo during its ownership of Gala Coral, the bookmaker which is now part of GVC Holdings.
It’s understood that Apollo plans to use Asda’s stores as collateral to raise debt to buy the business.
Meanwhile Lone Star, which owns property firm Quintain, may convert Asda’s freehold sites into mixed-use developments with housing.
Lone Star has recruited former Asda chief executive Paul Mason to assist, who was chief executive at Asda until he stepped down in 2001.
Walmart is expected to maintain a minority stake in Asda after the sale is completed.
It’s thought the US retail giant originally gave bidders a deadline of September 7 for Asda.