// US private equity fund Lone Star drops out of race to acquire Asda
// Lone Star was unable to match price expectations of Asda’s US owner Walmart
// Apollo and Lone Star were the frontrunners after Walmart restarted an auction
Asda has reportedly seen US private equity fund Lone Star Funds drop out of the race to acquire it, which places Apollo Global Management in pole position to take control of the supermarket.
Lone Star was unable to match price expectations of Asda’s US owner Walmart, The Telegraph reported.
It remains unclear as to whether a third private equity suitor, UK-based TDR Capital, remains in the running.
Apollo and Lone Star were the frontrunners after Walmart restarted an auction for a majority stake in Big 4 grocer Asda.
Lone Star had 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 is understood that Apollo plans to use Asda’s stores as collateral to raise debt to buy the business.
Following a failed merger with fellow grocer Sainsbury’s, Walmart was forced to put Asda back on the market.
Walmart is expected to maintain a minority stake in Asda after the sale is completed.
On September 20, Asda said the sale could be confirmed as early as Friday, September 25.