Tesco sells Polish business for £181 million

FILE PHOTO: A company logo is pictured outside a Tesco supermarket in Altrincham northern England, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Tesco TSCO.L is selling its Polish business for about £181 million, the supermarket group said on Thursday, leaving its central European business focused on the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

Britain’s biggest retailer’s withdrawal from Poland follows the sale of the its supermarket businesses in Thailand and Malaysia in March, and is a further retreat from its once lofty global ambitions.

Tesco said in a statement it had stronger market positions and better growth prospects in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, which alongside Ireland are its only remaining overseas supermarket operations.

The buyer of its 301-store Polish business is Salling Group A/S. The pair agreed a 900 million zlotys enterprise value for the business, equivalent to about 181 million pounds, and Tesco said net proceeds were expected to be 165 million pounds in cash.

Those proceeds are in addition to the approximately 200 million pounds Tesco has received from selling about 22 stores in Poland.

The group said it would continue to seek value from the remaining assets which include 19 currently trading stores not covered by the deal with Salling.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton and Mark Potter