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Tesco reviewing Thailand business for possible sale

Customers wait to check out after shopping at a Tesco-Lotus store in Bangkok. (Bangkok Post file photo)

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LONDON: Britain's biggest supermarket chain Tesco said on Sunday it had started a review of its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia, including looking at a possible sale.

It said in a statement 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."

"The evaluation of strategic options is at an early stage. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate," it said.

The deal could value the operations at as much as $9 billion (273 billion baht), Dow Jones reported earlier, citing people familiar with the plan. Tesco spokesman Simon Rew declined to comment on the valuation.

Tesco Thailand, branded as Tesco Lotus, launched in 1998 and has 1,967 stores. The Thai business alone could be valued at nearly $7 billion (212 billion baht) because it includes real estate assets, Dow Jones reported. In the first half of fiscal-year 2020, the retailer’s entire Asia business produced 2.6 billion pounds (103 billion baht) of revenue, accounting for about 8% of total sales.

If Tesco does quit Thailand and Malaysia, its only overseas operations, apart from Ireland, will be its loss-making central European division, consisting of stores in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

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Vocabulary:

appropriate : suitable or right for a particular situation or purpose - ที่เหมาะสม

citing : mentioning as a reason - ให้ อ้างอิงเหตุผล

decline (verb): to say politely that you will not accept something, do something, or say something - ปฏิเสธ, ปฏิเสธที่จะทำ 

evaluation : the process of thinking carefully about something before making a judgment about its value, importance, or quality - การประเมินผล

interest : a connection, especially a business connection, ownership, etc. - ส่วนได้เสีย

loss (noun): money that has been lost by a business or an organisation - การขาดทุน

real estate : property - อสังหาริมทรัพย์

strategic : carefully planned in order to achieve a particular goal, especially in war, business, or politics - ทางยุทธศาสตร์

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