Tesco mulls dumping data arm Dunnhumby in asset sell-off

Ollie Gordon
Dunnhumby helped to create Tesco’s clubcard scheme in 1995
Britain's largest supermarket Tesco said yesterday it could sell off its Dunnhumby data business as it announced plans for widespread cost-cuttings and asset sales.

The retail titan said it had appointed Goldman Sachs to explore the options for Dunnhumby – the company that helped to create Tesco’s customer clubcard scheme in 1995. Those options could include a market float, as well as a partial or full sale.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis told journalists yesterday: “The potential sale of Dunnhumby will have no impact on clubcard. We don’t need to own it to have commercial arrangements in place. It is a great business but it needs further investment.

“We are looking at all the different options. What I would say is there has been an awful lot of interest in that business and some people will want to work with Tesco and others might not want Tesco to be involved at all. “

Dunnhumby – which Tesco acquired in 2004 – has been mooted to be worth between £1bn and £2bn. After the announcement yesterday, advertising giant WPP was linked to a £2bn swoop for the data specialist, with several private equity firms also reported to be interested.

The supermarket giant also yesterday confirmed the sale of its video service Blinkbox along with the retailer’s broadband and telephone business to British telecoms firm TalkTalk, in a deal thought to be worth around £5m.

WPP, Goldman Sachs, Tesco and TalkTalk all declined to comment.

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