By Dearbail Jordan
By Dearbail Jordan
By David Silverberg
Technology of Business reporter
US retail giant Walmart is in talks with a "small number of interested parties" about buying a stake in the British supermarket chain Asda.
A joint statement from Walmart and Asda said: "Following inbound interest Walmart and Asda can confirm that we are currently considering whether there is an opportunity for a third party to invest in Asda, alongside Walmart, in order to support and accelerate the delivery of Asda’s strategy and position Asda for long-term success.
It added: "No decisions have been made and we will not be commenting further on these discussions. If or when we decide to pursue this opportunity further our first priority will be to share more detailed information with our colleagues."
Both Asda and Sainsbury's have faced a number of recent challenges after the Competition and Markets Authority blocked their proposed merger last year.
Sales at US retail giant Walmart grew at a slower pace than expected in the fourth quarter, following disappointing trade in the run-up to Christmas.
At Walmart's US stores that have been open for at least a year, sales rose 1.9% in the three months to 31 January, which was below analysts' forecasts of 2.35%.
Adjusted earnings per share dropped to $1.38 per share, below expectations of $1.43 per share.
Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon said "sales leading up to Christmas in our US stores were a little softer than expected".
A man in Georgia helped police stop a suspected shoplifter who'd fled into a supermarket car park.
US supermarket chain Walmart is suing Tesla's energy division, after solar panels on seven of its stores caught fire.
It alleges that the firm was negligent in how it installed the panels on the roofs of the stores.
Court documents describe a string of fires that occurred between 2012 and 2018 at Walmart locations in Ohio, Maryland and California.
Tesla has not yet responded to the claims.