Tesco's Asian business has attracted significant interest from powerful Thai businesses. Three three major family conglomerates are understood to have made bids for the retailer's operations in Thailand and Malaysia, according to reports in the Financial Times.
Three bids on the table
The bidders are reported to be:
- Charoen Pokphand (CP Group), the diversified business that owns Thailand's 7-Eleven convenience stores. It is already the grocery market leader in Thailand.
- Central Group, a diversified conglomerate with interests spanning retail, hotels and leisure. It owns of Central Food Group, Thailand's fourth largest grocery group.
- TCC Group, the major shareholder in Thailand's third largest food retailer Berli Jucker, owner of Big C supermarkets.
Competition concerns could decide outcome
The three groups have submitted first round bids and are expected to submit final bids by late February or early March. The successful bidder will need to convince Thailand's Office of Trade Competition that a merger would not dilute competition in the country or adversely affect shoppers. The deal is expected to be finalised by the end of the year, with the successful bidder paying up to $10bn for the business.
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