Wal-Mart, the parent company of Asda, is considering selling the chain's property development arm Gazeley.

It has retained investment bank UBS to explore strategic options, including a sale, for Gazeley, which develops distribution networks in the UK, continental Europe and China.

"This is not a core business for us,” said Asda president and CEO Andy Bond. “For Gazeley to maintain and extend its market leadership, we believe it should be part of an organisation that specialises in property development and investment, which can better support its international growth.”