Thailand’s competition regulator has given the nod for British retail giant Tesco to sell its supermarket businesses to the Charoen Pokphand Group, despite monopoly concerns.
The $10.6 billion sale to Thailand’s biggest conglomerate was first flagged in March and also covers Tesco’s operations in Malaysia.
“The majority of commissioners agreed that the merger of those businesses (could create) market dominance… but it’s not a monopoly,” Thailand’s Office of Trade Competition Commission said in a statement on Friday.
The regulator said CP Group is not allowed to pursue other retail merger deals during the next three years.
Thai Retailers and Wholesalers Association president Somchai Pornrattanacharoen, who was on the regulator’s vetting committee, last month publicly expressed concerns that the deal would grant CP Group a monopoly, according to local media.
It is a boomerang sale of sorts — Tesco has nearly 2,000 grocery stores across Thailand which it bought from CP