Tesco’s Turkish unit in talks to acquire a controlling stake in local grocer Uyum Gida

Tesco Kipa Kitle Pazarlama Ticaret ve Gida Sanayi AS (IST:KIPA), the Turkish subsidiary of British retailer Tesco Plc (LON:TSCO), is in preliminary discussions about buying a majority stake in Turkish grocer Uyum Gida ve Ihtiyac Maddeleri Sanayi VE Ticaret AS (IST:UYUM), the buyer said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

At the end of September, the target had 55 stores in the Marmara region of Turkey, most of which are located in Istanbul.

The announcement comes after in June 2011 Tesco Kipa’s CEO Paul Ritchie told Reuters that his company would look into acquisition opportunities when they emerged. Later, Uyum Gida unveiled a one-year confidentiality agreement with a foreign investment fund to consider options for the company. In July 2012 Turkish daily Vatan reported that the British retailer was interested in acquiring a majority stake in Uyum Gida, adding that Tesco was the main suitor for the Turkish firm.

Tesco made its first step into the Turkish market in 2003 when it bought five Kipa stores. At present it has 181 stores in 24 Turkish cities including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Tesco Kipa generated revenues of GBP693m (USD1.1m/EUR863.4m) in fiscal 2011/12.

Founded in 1919, Tesco currently operates in 14 countries across Europe, Asia and North America, with over 500,000 employees. It engages in retailing books, clothing, electronics, furniture, petrol and software, as well as in providing financial services, telecoms and Internet services, DVD rental and music downloads.