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April 25, 2005

UK: Asda reported considering bid for Somerfield

Wal-Mart’s UK supermarket chain Asda, is considering a bid for supermarket Somerfield, according to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

Wal-Mart’s UK supermarket chain Asda, is considering a bid for supermarket Somerfield, according to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

Asda is looking at either launching an outright bid for the group or striking a deal with one of the two consortia currently vying for Somerfield, which has over 1,300 stores and also operates the Kwik Save chain, the paper said.

Under a deal with a consortium, Asda would either buy a portfolio of stores following a successful bid, or join one of the existing bid teams.

Bankers say that Asda has not yet decided which option to pursue, the paper said.
Meanwhile, the two consortia interested in buying Somerfield have been given an extension to last Friday’s deadline to confirm their potential bids before being allowed to progress to the next stage of due diligence. The new deadline has been set for early this week.

One consortium is led by Apax Partners, the private equity group, backed by Baugur, the Icelandic retailer, Barclays Capital and Robert Tchenguiz, the property tycoon. The rival group consists of London & Regional, the property company, and Nomura, the Japanese bank.

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