Tesco considering selling Thailand, Malaysia businesses

09 Décembre, 2019, 18:10 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Customers wait to check out after shopping at a Tesco Lotus store in Bangkok

Analysts continue to be sceptical of the move as Thailand has a lot of growth potential because of increasing urbanisation and a withdrawal from the market might hit the company's overall profits.

Tesco shares jumped on Monday after the supermarket said it may sell its operations in Malaysia and Thailand as part of a strategic review. The stock was at 192p at the start of the year.

At a capital markets day in June, Tesco had said it was well placed to grow in Asia, particularly in Thailand, citing an opportunity for 750 new convenience stores over the "medium-term".

Operating nearly 1967 stores in Thailand and almost 74 in Malaysia, in the name of Tesco Lotus, the plausible shut down will affect the lives of many families.

Asia is a jewel in the Tesco crown, so any purchase would have to involve "substantial monetary sums" and could result in "a material distribution to shareholders" according to Shore Capital, although the broker also points out a disposal would also leave Britain's biggest retailer "devoid of a growth piston in its engine".

Tesco, like some counterparts, has been shrinking overseas to focus on its home market, where it is combating discount grocers and online competitors such as Amazon.com Inc.

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Tesco has shed several businesses around the world in recent years.

Bruno Monteyne, at Bernstein - himself a former Tesco executive - said: "A valuation of £6.5 billion to £7.2 billion seems a fair valuation for an unsolicited proposal".

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Tesco is five years into a recovery plan launched after an accounting scandal capped a dramatic downturn in trading. In October Lewis declared Tesco's turnaround complete and said he would step down next summer.

Previous retreat of 2015 took place when Dave Lewis sold the south Korean business of Tesco.

If the sale does not go ahead it means the company will be left with stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and unprofitable division in central Europe. unit that includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

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