Tesco sells sites for £250m

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Britiain’s biggest retailer, Tesco, has offloaded 14 development sites for a total of £250 million as it continues its cost-cutting strategy.

The group confirmed the sale of the Spenhill development sites across London, other parts of the south east of England and Bath to a fund and clients advised by investment managers Meyer Bergman.

It said the sites would be suitable for mixed-use and residential development and “marks further progress against Tesco’s strategic priority of protecting and strengthening its balance sheet”.

The two firms have reached completion on 11 sites, with the remaining sites expected to complete in due course.

It marks a drastic change in strategy for the embattled supermarket giant. A few years ago it was snapping up sites as it sought to expand its physical presence across the UK. Now it remains focused on reducing assets to pay down debt and focus on revitalising its flagging UK business.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “Since announcing our decision to build fewer stores we have been working with Meyer Bergman to bring forward investment on our Spenhill sites.

“We are very pleased to have agreed a deal with Meyer Bergman that will bring forward significant investment for these local communities, including opportunities for residential development.”