United Kingdom

Tesco starts $686 mln share buyback

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A logo of Tesco is pictured outside a Tesco supermarket in Hatfield, Britain October 6, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

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LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Tesco (TSCO.L), Britain's biggest retailer, has started a programme to buy back shares with a value of up to 500 million pounds ($686 million), it said on Monday.

The group had said when it published half year results on Oct. 6 that it could afford to start a multi-year share buyback.

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At the time Tesco CEO Ken Murphy denied the buyback was a tactic to ward off private equity bidders.

Rivals Asda and Morrisons (MRW.L) have both succumbed to private equity bids this year.

Tesco said Citigroup will repurchase shares on its behalf.

($1 = 0.7289 pounds)

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Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young and Louise Heavens

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