TESCO is one of at least ten bidders circling for the Asian assets of French retail giant Carrefour.
The Thai, Malaysian and Singaporean operations owned by Carrefour are being offloaded – offering Tesco an expansion of its Asian operation. Under its Tesco Lotus banner it is already a major player in Asia with hypermarkets in Thailand.
Carrefour has priced the 61 stores at around $1bn (£647m).
Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Richard Hunter said: “This would be a very shrewd move by Tesco.
“This geographical diversifcation has been a feature of its strategy and has been working. Moving for Carrefour’s assets will give Tesco an even stronger presence in Asia.”
Meanwhile, Dairy Farm, the Singapore retail group, is also among the pack of bidders.
Aeon, Japan’s second largest retail group, and Casino, the French retailer, are also believed to be in the hunt. The purchase would almost triple Aeon’s outlets in the three Southeast Asian nations. It currently operates 27 Malaysian stores and 11 outlets in Thailand. The company is being advised by Nomura.
Meanwhile, Carrefour is being advised by Goldman Sachs and UBS, with Casino advised by Deutsche Bank.
Wal-mart, the world’s biggest retailer, which has pinpointed south-east Asia as an area where it wants to expand, had not made a bid as the deadline passed.
Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer behind Wal-mart earlier this week announced that it had made a €67m (£55m) net profit in the first half of the year.