18 May 1998
Tesco moves into Asia with £200m Thai deal

By FWi staff

TESCO has snapped up a Thai hypermarket chain for £200 million, ignoring the economic doomsayers who believe the Asia-Pacific region is on the skids.

Britains leading supermarket chain has acquired a controlling stake in Lotus, which is based in Bangkok, from the Thai conglomerate CP Group for £111m in cash, and will also take on £89m in debt.

Deputy chairman David Reid said the recent turmoil in the region was the reason why Tesco had been fortunate enough to get such a reasonable deal.

Meanwhile, rival supermarket chain Asda has confirmed it had held talks with the Kingfisher group, but denied a merger was on the cards. The Kingfisher group owns B&Q, Comet and Woolworths.

Both companies had been reported to be negotiating a £13bn merger which would have created the second biggest retail chain in the UK.