Tesco considers sale of its Asian arm

Tesco is considering the sale of its Malaysian and Thai businesses, the supermarket giant has confirmed.

The two businesses have an estimated worth of £6.8bn between them.

Tesco released a statement saying that this consideration follows “inbound interest” of the businesses, yet potential buyers are yet to be named.

The company added it has “commenced a review of the strategic options for its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia, including an evaluation of a possible sale of these businesses.”

It said: “The evaluation of strategic options is at an early stage, no decisions concerning the future of Tesco Thailand or Malaysia have been taken, and there can be no assurance that any transaction will be concluded. 

“A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.”

The sale of Tesco Malaysia and Tesco Thailand would leave Tesco’s only other non-UK business as its Ireland and central Europe division. 

It marks a further retreat from global expansion, following the offload of its Japanese business in 2012, its US business, Fresh and Easy, in 2013 and its South Korean business in 2015. 

This news also comes two months after CEO Dave Lewis announced his resignation from Tesco. 

In its latest interim results statement, Lewis said: “My decision to step down as Group CEO is a personal one. I believe that the tenure of the CEO should be a finite one and that now is the right time to pass the baton. 

“Our turnaround is complete, we have delivered all the metrics we set for ourselves. The leadership team is very strong, our strategy is clear and it is delivering. 

“The Tesco brand is stronger and customer satisfaction is the highest it has been for many years.”  

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