Tesco's share price falls as supermarket sells half of stake in ecommerce site Lazada to Alibaba for £90m

Catherine Neilan
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Alibaba is now the majority shareholder in Lazada, although Tesco retains an 8.3 per cent stake (Source: Getty)

Tesco is continuing to shed itself of unwanted assets as management continues to plug the gaps in its balance sheet, this morning revealing it has partially offloaded its stake in ecommerce site Lazada to Chinese giant Alibaba.

The supermarket received $129m (£90m) for its 8.6 per cent stake in the business, which acts a platform to sell global brands to South East Asian consumers.

The deal sees Alibaba invest $500m in Lazada, becoming the site's controlling shareholder and valuing the business at $1.5bn.

Tesco first invested in Lazada in November 2013, taking a £124m punt on the group. Today's deal reduces the firm's stake to 8.3 per cent.

Investors appeared unimpressed by the move, however: Tesco's share price was down one per cent in early trading.

Shareholders in Lazada, including Tesco, have also entered into a put-call arrangement with Alibaba, giving the buyer the right to purchase, and the shareholders the right to sell collectively, their remaining stakes at a fair market value within the 12 to 18 month period post closing of the transaction.

Tesco said it will use its proceeds from the transaction for general working capital purposes.

The move comes a day before the supermarket releases its much-anticipated results for the year.

Last night it emerged Tesco is planning to sell Dobbies Garden Centres, while a fortnight ago it was reported that the supermarket is also approaching private equity firms about offloading restaurant chain Giraffe.

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