PTT plots bid for Carrefour assets

 
City A.M. Reporter
PTT, Thailand's biggest energy company, said it plans to bid for French retailer Carrefour's Thai assets, worth an estimated $600M (£386m), under a plan to diversify its businesses.

Carrefour, Europe's top retailer, wants to sell its Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand units at a potential price of $1BN to focus on core markets where it holds leading positions.

In recent years, Carrefour has withdrawn from other Asian markets, including Japan and South Korea, to focus on growing markets such as China and India.

"We are actually interested to see whether there's an opportunity to link to our businesses," Chief Financial Officer Tevin Vongvanich told Reuters.

"We are studying the plan, but there are no further details or information on the timing at this point," Tevin said.

PTT joins an increasingly crowded field expected to bid for the assets in September.

France's Casino has hired Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland Group to advise it on a potential bid for Carrefour's Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand assets, two sources told Reuters in July.

Leading Thai conglomerate Berli Jucker, owned by liquor tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhadi, expressed interest last month in bidding for Carrefour's Southeast Asian operations.

Singapore-listed Dairy Farm International, which owns Cold Storage and Giant superstores in Singapore and Malaysia, and Britain's Tesco are also seen as potential bidders, sources said. Tesco and Dairy Farm have declined to comment.

Casino owns 36 per cent of the Big C Supercentre chain, Thailand's second-largest hypermarket operator by number of stores after British-owned Tesco Lotus.