After an attempt to merge with rival UK grocer Sainsbury’s fell foul of the regulator last month, Walmart is now believed to be looking at floating the retailer on the London Stock Market.

Walmart International CEO Judith McKenna made the statement when meeting managers at Asda’s Leeds HQ and said it would “strengthen [the company’s] long-term success”. Clarifying the comment later, Asda said preparations for an IPO would “take years”.

This is the first time Walmart has publicly commented on plans for Asda’s future following the failure of the merger, which led many to speculate it may well be sold off to private equity as part of the global giant’s recalibration of international operations.

Source: Reuters