Friday 18 December 2020 1:07 pm

Tesco completes £8bn Malaysia and Thailand business sale prompting £5bn shareholder windfall

Tesco has completed the £8bn sale of its Thailand and Malaysia businesses and is gearing up to pay a £5bn special dividend to shareholders.

The supermarket announced this morning that the division’s have been acquired by C.P. Retail Development Company, which is backed by Charoen Pokphand Group, CP All Public Company and Charoen Pokphand Foods. 

Tesco will make a £2.5bn contribution to its pension scheme, and will pay the special dividend on 26 February, subject to the result of a general meeting on 11 February.

It said extra information on the special dividend and share consolidation, and notice of a general meeting, will be sent to shareholders around 25 January. 

Last week Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy said: “This sale allows us to focus on our businesses across Europe and to continue delivering for customers, make a significant contribution to our pension deficit and return value to shareholders.”

Earlier this month Tesco said it would return £585m of coronavirus business rates relief to the government, prompting rival grocers to do the same.

Murphy said the decision to return the relief was “completely disconnected” to its plans to pay a special dividend.

In February the supermarket giant also announced plans to exit the Chinese market.

It sold its 20 per cent share in its China joint venture to partner China Resources Holdings for £275m as it sought to focus on its core UK operations.