Tuesday 25 February 2020 10:33 am

Tesco exits China with £275m stake sale

Tesco has sold its 20 per cent share in its China joint venture for £275m as it nears a potential deal for its Thailand and Malaysia businesses. 

The supermarket giant announced this morning that it has offloaded its stake in Gain Land – which was established in 2014 – to a subsidiary of its joint venture partner China Resources Holdings.

Tesco said the proceeds of the Grain Land sale will be used for “general corporate purposes”.

In a statement the grocer said: “The disposal allows Tesco to further simplify and focus the business on its core operations.” 

Tesco is also seeking to sell its business in Thailand and Malaysia.

Last year the company confirmed it had launched a review of strategic options for the two Asian divisions, where it operates under the Tesco Lotus brand.  

In December the company said: “Tesco confirms that, following inbound interest, it has commenced a review of the strategic options for its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia, including an evaluation of a possible sale of these businesses.”

A sale of its operations in Thailand and Malaysia would mean Tesco’s only remaining overseas operations, apart from Ireland, would be its central European division, comprising stores in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

In its interim results published in October, the company said its Thailand and Malaysia operations reported combined sales of £2.6bn, while operating profit jumped 54.1 per cent to £171m.

The suoermarket also said  it was targeting rapid expansion in Thailand, with goals to build 750 express stores within three years.