Judith McKenna, chief executive of Asda's owner Walmart, told managers at an event at Asda's Leeds head office that a flotation is being considered.
Walmart International boss Judith McKenna said the United States chain is considering an initial public offering (IPO) for its United Kingdom subsidiary, but said it was "not rushing into anything".
However, she said any preparations for an IPO would "take years".
It comes after the Competition and Markets Authority blocked its merger with rival Sainsbury's.
Walmart is weighing a new option for its British supermarket division after its proposed merger with Sainsbury's was blocked in April by United Kingdom regulators.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) vetoed the deal, saying it would lead to increased prices in stores, online and at petrol stations across the United Kingdom, with shoppers left "worse off" and quality affected.
Walmart would have kept a 42% stake in the enlarged Sainbury's-Asda business if the £15bn tie-up had gone ahead.
Walmart (WMT) in the U.S. is considering putting United Kingdom supermarket giant Asda on the stock exchange, according to reports by Reuters, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times.
Managers at the meeting were also told to prepare staff for the need for "ongoing change" amid proposals to make changes to contracts that increase the basic pay of staff and require more flexible working.
The move has sparked speculation over Walmart's plans for Asda, with rumours it may try to sell the Big Four chain or spin it off. Union leaders said they had demanded an urgent meeting with Asda's bosses to seek reassurances for staff about the future of the company.
McKenna said the USA retailer did not have a "one size fits all" approach to its divisions around the world and that Asda should focus on improving its operations, including the implementation of £80m of price cuts to take on rivals such as Aldi and Lidl. He said Asda planned to plow a further 80 million pounds in cutting prices for the rest of the year, which Monteyne called a "substantial price investment". In addition, there will be additional Click and Collect collection towers installed in Asda stores.
As well the test on same-day delivery on groceries, Asda aims to roll out its mobile Scan and Go service in more stores.