Lone Star bows out of race for grocer Asda
US PRIVATE equity fund Lone Star has dropped out of the race to buy Asda, leaving rival Apollo in pole position to take control of Britain’s third biggest supermarket.
Lone Star was unable to match the price sought by Asda owner Walmart, City sources said.
A third private equity suitor, UK-based TDR Capital, remains in the running.
Bidding is expected to come to a climax this week, according to insiders.
Plans to hand the firm to a private equity owner have sparked concerns among some retail analysts, who fear it could be loaded up with debt raised against its network of nearly 700 stores.
Clive Black, of broker Shore Capital, said: “If a lot of the freeholds were turned into rents for Asda to pay … we could be talking about the death of Asda down the line.”