US private equity firm Lone Star has reportedly dropped out of the £6.5bn race to acquire Asda from Walmart.
According to the Telegraph, Lone Star was unable to meet the asking price asked by Walmart, leaving its rival Apollo in pole position for the grocer.
Last month, it was revealed that former Asda and Debenhams chief executives Paul Mason and Rob Templeman have been lined up to front the bids from Apollo Global Management and Lone Star Funds respectively. It comes after Walmart, which owns Asda, is said to have resumed discussions regarding a potential sale for a majority stake in the ‘Big Four’ grocer.
Templeman, the former CEO of Debenhams, has previously run Halfords, Homebase and Harveys Furnishing Group, and reportedly has a “long-standing” relationship with Apollo Global Management.
Walmart is expected to retain a minority stake in the business once the sale is completed.