Asda considering stock market flotation

18 Mai, 2019, 04:48 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Walmart Confirms It's ‘Seriously’ Mulling an IPO for Asda Unit

Asda's United States owner has said it is "seriously considering" a stock market flotation for the UK supermarket after the chain's deal to merge with rival Sainsbury's was blocked.

However, she added that preparations for a flotation could "take years" and in the meantime Walmart would ensure the United Kingdom chain had sufficient resources to realise its "potential for even greater things".

Walmart International boss Judith McKenna said the U.S. chain is considering an initial public offering (IPO) for its United Kingdom subsidiary, but said it was "not rushing into anything".

Asda is expected to reveal a further quarter of sales growth on Thursday but Roger Burnley, the chief executive of the retailer, has acknowledged it will be harder to sustain momentum without the Sainsbury's deal.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) vetoed the deal, saying it would lead to increased prices in stores, online and at petrol stations across the United Kingdom, with shoppers left "worse off" and quality affected.

The Leeds-based supermarket chain Asda was purchased by Walmart back in July 1999 for 6.7 billion pounds.

The remarks by Ms McKenna are the first time Walmart has commented on its plans for the United Kingdom supermarket following the collapse of its deal with Sainsbury's. There have been warnings that this could leave staff worse off.

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Asda was acquired by U.S. retail giant Walmart in 1999.

The GMB union said it had called for an urgent meeting with Walmart bosses to discuss the flotation plans.

GMB national officer Gary Carter said there was "uproar among the workforce" over plans to change Asda employees' contracts.

Ms McKenna told the 1,200 managers at the meeting: "Walmart does not have a one-size-fits-all approach to operating its global markets, but a consistent focus on strong local businesses powered by Walmart". In addition, there will be additional Click and Collect collection towers installed in Asda stores.

Burnley said the retailer had earmarked £80 million for price cuts in 2019, as well as detailing a number of initiatives created to make shopping hassle free.

A "scan and go" initiative was launched in 25 stores last week and more "click and collect" towers will be installed in stores.

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