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Tesco eyes £1bn from banking arm sale

Troubled supermarket giant Tesco is considering the sale of part of its banking arm in a stockmarket listing worth up to £1bn.

The Telegraph reports estimates from HSBC analysts that put the cost of turning the company around at up to £3bn, with the partial sale of Tesco Bank shares seen as an attractive option.

Alternative options include the sale of Tesco’s Asian businesses, valued at around £8bn, or the disposal of Dunhummby, which runs the supermarket’s Clubcard division and has reportedly received interest from the private equity sector.

Tesco Bank, which has around 4,000 staff and some 6m customers, is wholly owned by the supermarket firm, after the company paid £1bn to buy out joint partner Royal Bank of Scotland in 2008.

The company is in the midst of a major crisis following the discovery last month of accounting irregularities that have since led to £263m in profits being written-off.

An FCA investigation has been put on hold following the announcement last week that the Serious Fraud Office is launching a criminal investigation into the affair.

Tesco declined to comment.

A recent decline in global equity markets forced challenger bank Aldermore to cancel a stockmarket flotation scheduled for last month, while Virgin Money has also delayed a planned listing. 

In June, OneSavingsBank became the first UK lender to list its shares in over a decade while Lloyds Banking Group floated around 38.5 per cent of its shares in TSB on the stock exchange this summer.

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  1. Just leave it close to the tills at kids eye-level… some poor harrassed parent will bound to be pestered into buying it by their screaming 3 year old….

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