Meijer Says No, Tesco is Mum
By George Anderson
The rumor mill has come full circle.
Various reports over the past year have said Tesco had sent a team of executives over to the U.S. to scout for possible acquisitions.
That was followed by news of a conference with analysts where Tesco CEO Terry Leahy said the company had no plans to buy its way into the North American retail market.
The story had appeared to end there until The Grocer came out with a report, citing unidentified sources, that said Tesco was on the verge of completing a deal to buy a 49 percent stake in Meijer. A Tesco company spokesperson wouldn’t deny or confirm a deal had been made but said that Mr. Leahy had never completely ruled out the possibility that Tesco would do business in the U.S.
On the heels of The Grocer report and it subsequently being picked up by various news organizations, Meijer responded by sending a memo to employees stating that the rumors were false and “we are not negotiating with any company for the sale of any part of our company.”
So that’s the end of the story, right?
Moderator’s Comment: Is Tesco looking for a point of entry into the U.S. consumer market? What challenges would it face in the U.S. that it doesn’t in
other markets where it has stores? –
George Anderson – Moderator