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Three Thai conglomerates bid for Tesco stores - report

By Sean Farrell

Date: Thursday 06 Feb 2020

Three Thai conglomerates bid for Tesco stores - report

(Sharecast News) - Tesco's stores in Thailand and Malaysia have attracted offers from three Thai conglomerates in the first round of bidding on a deal expected to be worth as much as $10bn (?7.7bn), the Financial Times reported.
The bidders are Charoen Pokphand, which owns Thailand's 7-Eleven convenience chain; Thailand's biggest department store operator Central Group; and TCC Group, controlled by brewing tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, the FT said. They each submitted formal bids in mid-January to buy Tesco Lotus and have started second-round talks.

"There is genuine interest in the assets at a valuation level that could be of interest to Tesco," a person familiar with the bidding process told the FT. Tesco shares rose 2.5% to 254.4p at 1507 GMT.

Tesco Lotus's operations include hypermarkets, convenience stores and supermarkets. The bidders, all of which have retail interests, could face problems getting approval for a deal after Thailand's competition regulator said it would study the transaction closely and was prepared to block a sale.

Tesco has 1,967 stores in Thailand plus a number of shopping centres and 74 shops in Malaysia. The disposal by Tesco, which is retrenching to focus on its UK business, could be one of the biggest deals in Asia this year.


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