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Tesco sets takeover bid deadline for $9B Asia business – Reuters

U.K. retailer Tesco PLC is asking bidders for its Asian business to hand in their final offers by Feb. 28, Reuters reported Feb. 27, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Tesco in December 2019 said it is conducting a strategic review of its operations in Thailand and Malaysia, including the option of a possible sale.

Thai conglomerates Charoen Pokphand Group Co. Ltd., The Central Group and TCC Corp. Ltd. are among the potential buyers, according to previous reports. A deal could reportedly value Tesco's Asian operations — which includes 2,000 supermarket outlets and convenience stores in Thailand and 74 stores in Malaysia — at up to $9 billion.

The British grocer will review the offers and make a decision in March, the report said.

Tesco and the three reported bidders did not immediately respond to requests for comment, Reuters said.

If a deal proceeds, it could come under close scrutiny by Thailand's competition watchdog. Sakon Varanyuwatana, chairman of Thailand's Office of Trade Competition Commission, told the Financial Times in January that the antitrust regulator is preparing to impose fines or completely ban the transaction if Tesco breaches any laws during the sale process.