Tesco among companies circling for Carrefour's Asian assets

City A.M. Reporter
France's Casino and Britain's Tesco are among the bidders still in the running to buy Carrefour's stores in Southeast Asia, Reuters sources have said.

Carrefour, Europe's No.1 retailer, has set a 5 November deadline for second round bids, two other sources said. The $1bn (£644m) auction has attracted a number of potential bidders.

Carrefour wants to sell its shops in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to focus on markets where it holds leading positions.

Dairy Farm, which owns Giant and Cold Storage chains in Southeast Asia, has also made it to the next round for buying Singapore and Malaysian assets, sources said.

Dairy Farm is backed by Jardine Group in its pursuit of the assets.

Japan's second-largest retail group Aeon has also advanced to the next round, sources said, though it was not clear if they were still bidding for all the three assets.

Malaysia-based private equity firm Navis Capital Partners has also progressed to the next stage for buying Malaysia and Singapore assets, a separate source said.

Dairy Farm and Navis declined to comment, while Aeon could not be reached for a comment immediately.

Thai conglomerate Berli Jucker said it had also got through the first round of bidding for Carrefour's Thai stores, while a source close to the matter said Thai energy giant energy giant had also made it through the first round for the same assets.

Tesco, the world's No.3 retailer behind Carrefour and US group Wal-Mart is market leader in both Thailand and Malaysia.

Casino is also a force within the region, and part-owns Thailand's Big C Supercenter.

Carrefour, Casino and Tesco have all declined to comment on the sale process.