UK regulator to give final verdict on Sainsbury's-Asda deal
LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - Britain's competition regulator will publish its final report on supermarket group Sainsbury's takeover of Walmart-owned rival Asda on Thursday, with most analysts and competition lawyers seeing little chance of the deal proceeding. Sainsbury's own share price - down 19 percent over the last three months - has also indicated an expectation that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will either block the 7.3 billion pound ($9.5 billion) takeover outright or conditionally approve it subject to remedies that would be so severe as to make the deal unpalatable. Sainsbury's and Asda agreed last April to combine their businesses, aiming to overtake market leader Tesco. The implications of the deal failing are major. Some analysts believe Sainsbury's will have to undergo a major shake-up that could see new chairman Martin Scicluna part company with Chief Executive Mike Coupe, the architect of the deal and the group's boss since 2014. If one potential exit route from Britain for Walmart was blocked, the U.S. group might instead consider a stock market listing (IPO) of Asda or try to sell it to private equity.