Walmart reportedly 'seriously considering' IPO for Asda

Mike Coupe Sainsbury's chief executive and Martin Scicluna chairman

Mike Coupe Sainsbury's chief executive and Martin Scicluna chairman

Regulators' decision last month to block the 7.3 billion-pound deal to merge Asda and Sainsbury threw a wrench in the world's largest retailer's plans to reshape its worldwide operations.

Walmart International CEO Judith McKenna disclosed the plans to a meeting of 1,200 managers held on Tuesday, but said the path to a share offering would "take years", CNBC reported.

Supermarket chain Asda could be floated, staff were told on Wednesday, after the competition authorities derailed its proposed tie-up with rival J Sainsbury.

Walmart bought Asda in 1999 for £6.7 billion.

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.

Asda is now the third largest supermarket in the United Kingdom while its parent company Walmart is the world's largest retailer.

Gary Carter, national officer of the GMB union, said: "GMB's tens of thousands of Asda members have had enough uncertainty - they need to know that their futures are safe and secure".

He called on the supermarket to address that "debacle" before any stock market listing took place.

She added: "Walmart does not have a one-size-fits-all approach to operating its worldwide 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 also confirmed Asda would "accelerate our price position", briefing staff on plans to invest £80 million ($103.3 million) in the price throughout the rest of 2019.

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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