Tesco’s international operations came under renewed pressure today faced after the UK supermarket giant failed to find a suitor for its Turkish business.
Chief executive Phil Clarke revealed earlier this year that the Turkish division, where Tesco trades as Kipa, would be slimmed down and a search for a buyer or partner would start.
But today bosses admitted that talks with local businesses, thought to include supermarket group Migros Ticaret and drinks firm Anadolu Endustri Holdings, had fallen through, meaning Tesco can either continue running the business alone or consider leaving the country completely.
esco’s Turkish venture was its worst-performing international division last year, with sales down 7 per cent and the second worst in 2012, down 5.4 per cent.
Clarke, who was head of the international business before taking over from Sir Terry Leahy, has been trying to save cash by setting up joint ventures overseas, including in China and India, as he hopes to avoid future embarrassments like the £2 billion hit Tesco took on its failed US business.
Today’s news is likely to see stores close in Turkey.