It is understood that in December last year, Tesco was approached about a deal to see its Thai arm of the business, Tesco Lotus, bought out by Dhanin Chearavanont, one of Thailand’s richest men.
In what would have been a multi-billion pound deal, the acquisition of Tesco Lotus (valued at around £6.6bn) would see Mr Chearavanont, who already controls the retail group Siam Makro in Thailand, increase his control of the market. Now the tycoon, who was rejected at the end of last year, is considering another bid.
Tesco Lotus operates from more than 1,700 stores and has been one of Tesco’s most successful overseas ventures, but as part of Dave Lewis’s drastic plan to revive the ailing supermarket chain, he is considering putting up a ‘for sale’ sign on the Big Four’s international assets.
Reportedly, Mr Chearavanont has appointed UBS and Siam Commercial Bank to help finance and advise on a bid for Tesco Lotus alongside Bank of America although he and Tesco are not currently in any confirmed talks about such a deal for Tesco Lotus.
Tesco Lotus began trading in 1998 and is currently Tesco’s second largest international business, serving more than 12m customers per week. Currently, over 50,000 people are employed as full-time staff.
The business has a strong reputation for contributing to local communities and playing an active role in society. As part of Tesoc’s ambition to create opportunities for young people, it has launched a new vocational training programme to give students on-the-job training in Thailand, in an attempt to “help break the cycle – no job, no experience, no experience, no job”.