Tesco to hand over Asian business next week after £8bn sale

PA

Supermarket giant Tesco will finally part way with its Asian arm after regulators approved its £8 billion sale of the business.

The supermarket giant said that buyer CP Group has reviewed and was happy with the approval the deal had received from authorities in Thailand.

The deal will now be finalised this month, with Tesco handing over the keys to the businesses in Thailand and Malaysia on December 18.

The sale marked a big step back from international markets when it was announced in March this year.

However, it will also please Tesco shareholders, who are in line to get a £5 billion special dividend at the end of February.

Tesco will also use the proceeds from the 10.6 billion dollar sale (£8 billion) to pay £2.5 billion into its pension fund.

“I would like to thank all our colleagues in Asia for their hard work and dedication to our customers over many years,” chief executive Ken Murphy said.

“They have built a very strong business. I’m confident that the agreement with CP Group will ensure that they are well set up for continued success.

“This sale allows us to focus on our businesses across Europe and to continue delivering for customers, make a significant contribution to our pension deficit and return value to shareholders.”

The sale will allow the trailer to focus more on its businesses in the UK Ireland, Poland and Hungary, where it still operates.

It was one of the last big moves by former chief executive Dave Lewis, who handed over to Mr Murphy earlier this year.

CP Group, the buyer, is one of Asia’s largest telecoms companies, and a major conglomerate with a chain of supermarkets across the continent. It previously owned the Tesco stores before selling them to the UK retailer in the 1990s.