First Iceland bids to come in ‘by mid-October’

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Iceland CEO Malcolm Walker has told The Grocer he expects the first firm bids for the company within a fortnight.

“Landsbanki will send out the information memorandums this week or next,” said Walker. “The first round of bids should come in mid-October. I have no idea how many rounds there will be.”

The big four supermarkets are expected to receive the memorandum, along with Waitrose and the Co-op. The information will also go to overseas retailers and private equity firms. Walker, who wants to buy the business himself, is expected to face the fiercest fight from Morrisons and Asda. The latter reportedly secured financing from Barclays Capital last week, but Walker questioned its appetite for the business: “I don’t know what it is planning, but I would be surprised if it wanted to buy the whole business.”

He also denied the current financial turmoil could jeopardise his bid. “The strains in the debt market aren’t going to help me or anyone else. But we are confident that we have the funding,” he said.

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