Asda owners the Issa brothers are reportedly in talks to merge their EG petrol forecourt business with Canadian convenience store giant Couche-Tard, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Couche-Tard, which runs 7,000 convenience stores in the U.S. and as many abroad, EG Group have traded proposals in recent weeks that would value EG at roughly $16bn (£12.7bn) or more including debt, sources have said.
It is thought this could provide the funds to finance EG Group’s potential acquisition of health and beauty retailer Boots.
WSJ said the talks have “run hot and cold” in recent weeks as the pair have been bartering over price.
Last year, the French government blocked Couche-Tard from a €16.2bn (£13.6bn) takeover of the French supermarket giant Carrefour, when the deal was branded a risk to France’s “food sovereignty”.
It is unknown whether any deal would see the Issa Brothers retain a stake in the company.