Asda is tight-lipped on reports that it has dropped plans to buy a stake in Iceland and focus on buying stores

Asda is tight-lipped on reports that it has dropped plans to buy a stake in Iceland and focus on buying stores

UK retailer Asda has reportedly abandoned its bid for a controlling stake in Iceland Foods but will still seek to acquire some of its stores.

Citing a source close to the matter, Reuters yesterday (12 January) reported that Asda had decided not to bid for the shares in the frozen food seller, which is being auctioned by failed Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir.

Instead, Asda is keen on acquiring some of Iceland's 200 stores, Reuters said. Yesterday, Sky News reported that Asda, the UK's second-largest retailer, was mulling whether to hold talks with private-equity firms Bain Capital and BC Partners about a deal that could see the retailer take on a chunk of Iceland's shops.

The retailer and both private-equity firms declined to comment when contacted by just-food.

In November, The Sunday Telegraph reported that Asda was making a joint bid for Iceland Foods with frozen food supermarket chain Farmfoods.

Landsbanki and Glitnir, which own the 77% stake, do not comment on bids.

Iceland Foods founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker and his management team, which together own the rest of the retailer, are also preparing a bid.