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Tesco sells stake in Lazada to Alibaba


Only a day after it emerged that Tesco plans to sell Dobbies Garden Centres, and a fornight since it was speculated that the supermarket operator is in talks to divest its restaurant chain Giraffe, the grocer has agreed the sale of an 8.6% stake in southeast Asian online retailer Lazada to Alibaba Group for £90.6m.

Britain's biggest supermarket chain has been shedding non-core assets for months as it attempts to turn around a balance sheet that was hit by the accounting scandal in 2014.

Lazada acts a platform to sell global brands to South East Asian consumers and the deal struck with e-commerce giant Alibaba, which is investing £350m into the business, means that it will become the site's controlling shareholder.

Tesco first invested in Lazada in late 2013 with a £124m,  but today's announcement means the big four grocer's stake comes up to 8.3%. Lazada is now valued at $1.5bn. 

Tesco will retain an 8.3% stake in Lazada after the deal announced on Tuesday completes. Seemingly, proceeds of the sale are to be used for general working capital purposes.

Published on Tuesday 12 April by Veebs Sabharwal

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