Walmart Leaders Confirm ‘Seriously’ Considering Asda IPO
LEEDS, U.K. - After regulators in the U.K. scuttled a $9 billion merger between Walmart-owned Asda and British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, Walmart was seemingly left in the lurch after a year of preparation. This week, Walmart leadership confirmed that the company may pivot and take Asda public. In a press release this week, Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart International, was quoted say that the company is “seriously considering” pursuing an IPO.
“While we are not rushing into anything, I want you to know that we are seriously considering a path to an IPO,” Judith McKenna told employees at an internal event in Leeds, England, this Tuesday. “Walmart does not have a one size fits all approach to operating its international markets, but a consistent focus on strong local businesses powered by Walmart”
She also noted, according to Asda's press release, that that preparation would “take years.”
An IPO isn’t the only option on the table, financial news source Bloomberg noted in a report on the event summary. Walmart could still attempt a sale of its U.K. unit.
“The U.S. retailer could also revisit a sale, though interest from private-equity firms has been lukewarm, people familiar with the situation said last month. Walmart plans to take its time to analyze the most feasible strategy for Asda and could opt to keep the business, one of the people said,” the news source opined.
Bloomberg additionally posited that an IPO would give Asda a similar structure to its businesses in Mexico and Central America.
In its press release, Asda CEO Roger Burnley was reported as saying, “forget the language of Plan A and Plan B—there has always been one clear strategy for Asda...it requires momentum in the short term, growth in the medium term, and sustainability in the long term...we need to prioritize and focus on what will make a difference to customers versus what won’t.”
The company also noted “plans to invest £80 million in the price throughout the rest of 2019.”
Will Asda hit the stock market any time soon? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.