Tesco, Dairy Farm Enter Race For Carrefour Asian Assets

Britain’s Tesco and Singapore’s Dairy Farm have put in second-round bids for the Southeast Asian assets of French retailer Carrefour, Reuters reported. The supermarket operator is selling its businesses in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Reuters previously reported that private equity fund Navis Capital and Japanese retailer Aeon would bid for some of the assets.

(Reuters) – Britain’s Tesco and Singapore’s Dairy Farm are among those to submit second-round bids for French retailer Carrefour’s Southeast Asian assets, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

Carrefour, the world’s No. 2 retailer, had set a Nov. 5 deadline for second-round bids in an auction which is expected to fetch $1 billion, the sources said.

The auction has generated strong interest, mostly from trader buyers, the sources said.

The supermarket operator is selling its shops in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to focus on markets where it holds leading positions.

Dairy Farm, which is backed by Jardine Mathseon Holdings Ltd , is interested only in Malaysian and Singapore assets, while Tesco was pursuing most of the assets up for grabs, the sources said.

Sources previously told Reuters that Aeon , Japan’s No 2 retailer, and Malaysian private equity fund Navis Capital would also bid only for Malaysian and Singapore assets.

The auction is run in two separate processes, one for Thai assets and the other for Malaysian and Singapore assets.

One source said that French retailer Casino Group , Thai retailer Berli Jucker and Thai Central Group are in the fray for Carrefour’s Thailand assets. But this could not be independently verified from other sources.

Companies mentioned in this report could either not be reached for a comment or declined to comment.

Carrefour’s sale comes at a time when Indonesian retailer Matahari is planning to exit its hypermarket business for about $1 billion. Wal-Mart Stores Inc , Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] and South Korea’s Lotte Shopping are in the race to buy the asset, sources previously told Reuters.

(Reporting by Denny Thomas in Hong Kong, Mark Potter in London and Saeed Azhar in Singapore; Editing by Erica Billingham)