Walmart Inc has picked the founders of UK petrol station operator EG Group and private equity firm TDR Capital as preferred bidders for Asda, valuing the British supermarket chain at more than 6.5 billion pounds ($8.39 billion), Sky News reported on Monday.
Walmart, whose attempt to sell Asda to UK rival Sainsbury's for 7.3 billion pounds was thwarted by Britain's competition regulator last year, said in July it restarted talks with potential buyers of a majority stake in the supermarket chain.
A deal with Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the billionaire brothers who founded EG Group nearly two decades ago and TDR would bring back Asda under British ownership. However, a formal agreement could still be several days or weeks away Sky News reported.
TDR and Asda declined to comment. Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while Mohsin and Zuber Issa could not be immediately reached.
Earlier this month, Asda said it planned to enter the fast-growing convenience stores market through a trial with petrol forecourt operator EG Group.
($1 = 0.7748 pounds)
(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Anil D'Silva) ((UdaySampath.Kumar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S.+1 646 223 8780; Twitter: https://twitter.com/sampath_uday ;))