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Tesco's Asia deal paves the way in which for shareholders for a return of £ 5 billion

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© Reuters. An entrance to the Tesco Lotus retail store can be seen in Bangkok, Thailand

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain's largest retailer Tesco (OTC 🙂 expects to complete the sale of its Asian stores to CP Group for $ 10.6 billion on December 18, paving the way for shareholders for a return of $ 5 Billion pounds ($ 6.7 billion) levels said Wednesday.

Tesco agreed to sell its Thailand and Malaysia stores to CP Group in March.

The CP Group has now examined the formal approval notice of the Office of Trade Competition Commission in Thailand and is satisfied with it.

This and the permit issued by the Malaysian Department of Domestic Trade and Consumer Protection on November 10th mean there are no additional terms pending and disposal is expected to be completed on or around December 18th.

"This sale allows us to focus on our businesses across Europe and continue to deliver for customers, making a significant contribution to our pension deficit and equity capital," said Ken Murphy, CEO of Tesco.

Tesco intends to return approximately £ 5 billion of net proceeds to shareholders through a special dividend along with a stock consolidation and to invest £ 2.5 billion in the stock Tesco PLC Pension fund shortly after graduation.

The special dividend is expected to be paid out around February 26, 2021, depending on the approval of shareholders at a general meeting around February 11.

Last week, Tesco said it would repay the government £ 585 million of COVID-19 business rate relief, prompting rivals to do the same.

Murphy said the decision to return the relief was "completely disconnected" with his plans to pay a special dividend after the sale of the Asian business.

Tesco's shares rose 1.6% to 0808 GMT.

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