Walmart has said that it is ‘seriously considering’ a public listing for its Asda supermarket chain.
This comes after the Competitions an Markets Authority (CMA) blocked a merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda.
If the merger had succeeded it would have seen the creation of the UK’s largest supermarket, surpassing Tesco (LON:TSCO).
However, the merger was abandoned after the CMA said that the deal would reduce competition and increase prices for shoppers.
This led to renewed speculation that Walmart, the owner of Asda, would opt to sell the business.
However, recent comments from the company’s executives have suggested that it may instead opt to list Asda on the Stock Exchange.
Judith McKenna, chief executive of Walmart, told staff at manager event in Leeds:
“While we are not rushing into anything, I want you to know that we are seriously considering a path to an IPO – a public listing – to strengthen your long term success.”
However, McKenna added that a future public floatation could take years.
Asda has been owned by Walmart back in 1999 for £6.7 billion.
Shares in Walmart (NYSE:WMT) are currently broadly flat during pre-market reading.