In the wake of the blocked Asda-Sainsbury’s merger, Walmart is now “seriously considering” selling Asda in a public share flotation likely to value the business at over £7bn.

Judith McKenna, the British-born Chief Executive of Walmart’s international businesses, is reported to have told Asda staff, “While we are not rushing into anything, I want you to know that we are seriously considering a path to an initial public offering – a public listing – to strengthen your long-term success.”

She added that preparations for a flotation could “take years” and in the meantime Walmart would ensure Asda had “sufficient resources to realise its potential for even greater things.”

McKenna said Walmart did not have a “one size fits all” approach to its divisions around the world and Asda should focus on improving its operations, including implementing £80m of price cuts to take on rivals.

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