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Asda sale hangs in balance as buyers face funding woes – report

Walmart Inc.'s sale of Asda Stores Ltd. is facing a setback as potential buyers find it hard to look for financing after the coronavirus crisis resulted in a lack of liquidity across global capital markets, Lebensmittel Zeitung reported March 25, citing London Stock Exchange insiders.

The U.S. retail company in February confirmed that it is looking to sell a stake in its British subsidiary following the unsuccessful combination of Asda and its local rival J Sainsbury PLC.

Earlier in March, Bloomberg News reported that Asda has attracted initial bids from three buyout firms including Apollo Global Management Inc., Lone Star Funds and TDR Capital LLP.

Most recently, Lebensmittel Zeitung said Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC former CEO David Potts and Marks & Spencer Group PLC Chairman Archie Norman are tipped to head Asda following the potential sale. Norman had previously served as CEO of Asda from 1991 to 1996 and then became the company's chairman until 2000.

The report comes as companies are scrambling to find additional funding to provide them with a cash cushion amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: Sign up for our weekly coronavirus newsletter here, and read our latest coverage on the crisis here.