Supermarket giant Tesco has announced the sale of its Thailand and Malaysian stores to Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand for $10.6bn (£8.1bn).

Tesco building


Today, the UK’s largest supermarket chain announced the sale, which is Asia’s largest corporate acquisition in the year to date.

Tesco also said the deal would return about £5bn to shareholders via a special dividend, and reduce its own debt by £2.5bn.

“Following inbound interest and a detailed strategic review of all options, we are announcing today the proposed sale of Tesco Thailand and Tesco Malaysia,” said Dave Lewis, Tesco’s chief executive.

“This sale releases material value and allows us to further simplify and focus the business, as well as to return significant value to shareholders.”

The deal is expected to complete in the second half of 2020.