Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Aeon to pass on Carrefour Thai stores in bid-sources

* To bid for Singapore, Malaysia stores
* In initial round had also bid for Thai ops
* Sale of Asia ops outside China seen worth about $1 bln
* Aeon eyeing assets to help drive Asian expansion

By Taro Fuse
TOKYO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Japanese retailer Aeon Co (8267.T) will bid for Carrefour's (CARR.PA) Singapore and Malaysia stores but not make an offer for its Thai outlets in a second round of bidding next month, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Carrefour, Europe's top retailer, is looking to sell its Asian outlets outside China at a potential price of $1 billion and has set a Nov. 5 deadline for the second round of bids.
Aeon, Japan's second-largest retailing group, plans to make an offer for the Singapore and Malaysian operations, which are being sold as a set, but pass on the Thai business, which is being sold separately, the sources said.
Aeon had bid for the three operations in the initial round.
The sources asked not to be named because they were not authorised to speak publicly about the deal. Aeon declined to comment.
France's Casino (CASP.PA) and Britain's Tesco (TSCO.L) are also among the bidders expected to remain in the running for the Carrefour operations, sources have said. [ID:nTOE68E07I]
Aeon outlined a three year business plan this week under which it aims to nearly double its operating profit. It expects much of the sales growth to come from overseas markets, with a particular focus on Southeast Asia. [ID:nTOE69P07P]
The Japanese retailer said it would spend around 200 billion yen expanding in the region, which unlike its deflation-hobbled home market has vibrant consumer spending growth. (Reporting by Taro Fuse; Writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Nathan Layne and Edmund Klamann)

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