Tesco to pay £5bn special dividend in late February after Thailand approves disposal

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Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) said it will be free to pay a £5bn special dividend to investors towards the end of February 2021 after all the conditions were satisfied for completion of the sale of its Thai and Malaysian businesses.

Approval for the deal has been given by Thailand’s trade and competition office, the OTCC, and approved by purchaser CP Group, which follows the approval received from Malaysia’s trade and consumer affairs ministry last month.

This means there are no further conditions outstanding, the supermarket group said in a statement, and the disposal is expected to complete on or around next Friday, December 18, 2020.

The UK grocery market leader has set out its intention to pay out the net proceeds of the disposal to shareholders via a special dividend, together with a share consolidation, and has promised to contribute £2.5bn to its pension scheme.

Tesco said it expects to pay the special dividend “on or around 26 February 2021”, if it gets approval from shareholders at a general meeting on or around February 11, 2021.

In a statement, Tesco group chief executive Ken Murphy said: “This sale allows us to focus on our businesses across Europe and to continue delivering for customers, make a significant contribution to our pension deficit and return value to shareholders.”

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