Bangkok, the 20th of August 2010: Carrefour, Europe’s top retailer, is planning to sell its assets in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand at a potential price of over US$1 billion, in order to focus on other “core” markets, according to various sources.
In recent years, Carrefour has withdrawn interests in Japan and South Korea, to focus on growing markets in China and India.
PTT will join a long list of potential suitors to the Thai operations of Carrefour with France’s Casino considering a possible approach for all Carrefour assets in the region, according to Reuters.
PTT Chief Executive Prasert Bunsumpun told analysts on Thursday that PTT was studying whether an acquisition of Carrefour’s Thai assets would be viable or beneficial to its existing business base.
Speaking to Reuters, PTT Chief Financial Officer Tevin Vongvanich stated, “We are actually interested to see whether there’s an opportunity to link to our businesses,” “We are studying the plan, but there are no further details or information on the timing at this point”.
Various industry insiders have questioned the deals benefit to PTT, who already are in partnership with over 5,000 7-Eleven convenient store branches in Thailand along with its investment in Jiffy convenient stores at its retail gas stations. “We do not think it is a good idea. PTT does not have expertise in the wholesale business,” Kasikorn Securities said in a note to clients.
Meanwhile, other interested party’s include leading Thai conglomerate Berli Jucker Plc, owned by liquor tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhadi, Singapore-listed Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd and Britains Tesco’s supermarket chain.
Carrefour with 40 stores, are currently 4th in the retail standings in Thailand which includes the likes of 7-Eleven, Tesco-Lotus and Big C and are valued at up to Bt19 billion (US$603 million).