LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - Shares in British discount retailer B&M European Value Retail rose as much as 5.3 percent on Monday after a report that Asda, the UK supermarket arm of Wal-Mart Stores, was considering a 4.4 billion pounds ($5.7 billion) takeover.
The Sunday Times said Asda, which trails market leader Tesco and Sainsbury’s in annual sales, is in the early stages of assessing a bid for B&M, which is chaired by Terry Leahy, the former chief executive of Tesco.
It said Asda had commissioned external research on B&M and cited an unidentified industry source as saying that buying B&M would reduce Asda’s reliance on food sales and provide it with a network to stock its George clothing range.
Spokesmen for Asda and B&M both declined to comment.
Shares in B&M, which listed at 270 pence in 2014, were up 15.6 pence at 356.6 pence at 0708 GMT, valuing the business at 3.6 billion pounds. (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)