Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Walmart received several first-round bids for a majority stake in the British supermarket chain Asda, which could fetch at least £7 billion, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: This is a big test of whether private equity can still secure large debt financing packages at attractive rates.

  • Suitors are Apollo Global Management, Lone Star Funds, and TDR Capital (paired with EG Group).

The backdrop: Asda and rival Sainsbury’s last year tried to merge, but were blocked by U.K. competition regulators. Walmart subsequently considered a public listing, but seems to have instead settled on a sale process.

The bottom line: "U.K. grocers are facing surging demand from shoppers stockpiling essential items. That’s made them a bright spot in the consumer industry, which overall has been hurt as the coronavirus outbreak leads to shop closures and less foot traffic. Still, the high demand for everyday goods is putting immense pressure on supply chains, and over the weekend some of the country’s largest supermarket chains published a letter in national newspapers asking consumers to stop stockpiling," per Bloomberg.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.