Tesco bids for Carrefour Asia assets

London The world’s third-largest grocer was one of more than 10 bidders to try to acquire the Southeast Asian assets of Carrefour, the French retailer.

According to a Wednesday report in the Financial Times, round one of Carrefour’s auction of its south-east Asian assets on Tuesday night attracted more than 10 bidders, including, besides Tesco, several large non-Asian retailers together with private equity firms and local retail chains in Singapore and Thailand.

According to the report, no bid had been received by Tuesday night from Walmart, which has identified south-east Asia as a potential area for expansion.

Confirmed bidders according to the Financial Times include Dairy Farm, the Singapore retail group that owns the Giant and Cold Storage chains in Southeast Asia. Aeon, Japan’s second-largest retail group, and Casino, another French retailer, were also thought to be still in the race.  

The Financial Times said the strong field of bidders in the initial round of the auction suggested that Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer, could well achieve its target price of $800 million to $1billion for the 61 stores in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

The planned sale follows a decision by Carrefour CEO Lars Olofsson to redeploy resources from markets in which the retailer has little prospect of becoming leader into countries where it is at or near the top.