British supermarket group Tesco announced that they would sell its 20% share to cooperation partner China Resources for GBP275 million, which is about CNY2.5 billion.
As the result of the transaction, this European supermarket giant will formally withdraw from the Chinese market.
Tesco entered the Chinese market in 1997 by a joint investment with Ting Hsin International Group. After that, Tesco increased its shareholding in 2004 and 2009 to fully control the company. In 2013, China Resources Enterprise announced a merger with Tesco China, with China Resources Enterprise holding a 80% stake and Tesco holding the remaining 20% stake. With the transaction, all Tesco supermarkets in China were changed to Vanguard stores. At that time, Tesco had 134 stores in China.
Tesco said in a statement that by selling the joint venture, Tesco aimed to further streamline its business focus. The transaction will be closed at the end of February 2020.