Tesco advances in Carrefour Asian auction

London Tesco, the third largest supermarket chain behind Walmart and Carrefour, has advanced to the second round of bidding for Carrefour’s southeast Asian assets, according to a Wednesday report by the Financial Times.

Tesco was one of more than 10 first-round bidders for the stores in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, which are for sale for up to $1 billion.

It was questionable whether Tesco would go through to the second round after offers were received at the start of September because Tesco’s bid was said to be lower than other potential acquirers. However, reports are that Tesco has addressed it and will have the chance to submit a second-round bid in the coming weeks.

Sir Terry Leahy, outgoing CEO of Tesco, recently told the Financial Times that the Carrefour stores would be an obvious fit for the chain. Tesco is the market leader in Thailand and Malaysia, and some analysts believe the Thai stores would be the bigger prize for Tesco.

As well as Tesco, other initial bidders included Dairy Farm, the Singapore retail group that owns the Giant and Cold Storage chains in south-east Asia. Aeon, Japan’s second-largest retail group, and Casino, another French retailer, also submitted first-round offers.

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