Rumour mill rages

Broadsheets have been reporting rumours of an Asda bid for B&M.
Broadsheets have been reporting rumours of an Asda bid for B&M.

ASDA may be about to join its supermarket rivals on the acquisition trail following reports the supermarket’s US parent firm Walmart is considering a bid for B&M.

Reports across the broadsheets have claimed the supermarket giant is considering a move for the discount chain, with any takeover expected to cost in excess of £4bn.

Senior Asda sources have reportedly played down speculation that it is weighing up a takeover, but the rumour was still able to lift the discount chain’s share price by upwards of 4% in the wake of reports as traders responded to reports.

Were Asda to purchase B&M, the supermarket’s American owners would gain access to a larger network through which to distribute its non-grocery products, including its George clothing line.

Rumours of Asda interest in B&M come as UK supermarkets broaden the scope of their businesses through acquisitions, as market share continues to slip for the big four while discounters Lidl and Aldi’s shares surge.

Tesco is currently seeking to assuage competition concerns over its proposed Booker takeover (read more here), while the rumour mill around a potential Sainsbury takeover of Nisa has been further complicated by convenience chain McColl’s retendering its £2bn supply deal with the buying group.