Tesco sells off sites

Tesco sold off 14 development sites for a total of �250 million as it continues its cost-cutting strategy.
Tesco sold off 14 development sites for a total of �250 million as it continues its cost-cutting strategy.
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​Tesco has sold off 14 development sites for a total of £250​m as it continues its cost-cutting strategy.

The supermarket giant confirmed the sale of the Spenhill development sites across London, the South East and Bath to a fund and clients advised by investment managers Meyer Bergman.

It said the sites would be suitable for mixed-use and residential development and “marks further progress against Tesco’s strategic priority of protecting and strengthening its balance sheet”.

The two firms have reached completion on 11 sites, with the remaining sites due to complete in due course.

It marks a drastic change in strategy for the troubled supermarket giant. A few years ago it was snapping up a host of new sites as it sought to expand its physical presence across the UK. Now it remains focused on reducing assets to pay down debt and focus on revitalising its ailing UK business.

A key example was seen last month, when it announced the £4.2​bn sale of its South Korean business, Homeplus.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said of today’s sale: “Since announcing our decision to build fewer stores we have been working with Meyer Bergman to bring forward investment on our Spenhill sites.

“We are very pleased to have agreed a deal with Meyer Bergman that will bring forward significant investment for these local communities, including opportunities for residential development.

“We will be working with Meyer Bergman and local councils in the coming weeks to complete a formal handover and look forward to the delivery of investment on these sites.”