Walmart Resumes Asda Stake-Sale Talks Following Covid Pause

Walmart has restarted talks with potential buyers for a stake in Asda, its British grocery store chain.
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Walmart  (WMT) - Get Report has restarted talks with potential buyers to sell a stake in Asda, the retailer's British supermarket division, media reports say.

Walmart had been in talks with possible buyers of a majority stake of Asda since February, but those talks were put on hold in April once the coronavirus pandemic hit.

"Walmart and Asda have restarted conversations with a small number of third-party investors who are interested in acquiring a stake in Asda and partnering with Walmart, following renewed inbound interest," the spokesman told Reuters. 

Asda's future has been uncertain since U.K. regulators blocked a merger between Asda and peer British supermarket chain Sainsbury's in April 2019. 

Since then, Walmart has considered a stock market listing for the company before the Bentonville, Ark., retail giant decided to sell a stake in February. 

Private equity firms Apollo Global Management, Lone Star Funds and TDR Capital all submitted first-round offers for Asda earlier this year, Bloomberg reported. 

The news service also reported that the deal was expected to value the business at more than 7 billion pounds ($8.6 billion). 

In separate news, Walmart Canada said Monday that it would spend C$3.5 billion (US$2.58 billion) over the next five years to improve its e-commerce business amid a shift toward online shopping due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Canadian division of the world's largest retailer also said that would be renovating 150 stores, more than a third of its locations in the country. 

Shares of Walmart at last check were up 0.2% to $131.94. The stock is up 12% over the past four weeks.