Tesco sells Giraffe restaurant chain and Turkish business

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Giraffe restaurant inside a Tesco storeImage source, Getty Images

Tesco has announced it is to sell its Giraffe restaurant chain to the owner of Harry Ramsden's restaurants, Boparan, for an undisclosed sum.

It comes just three years after Tesco bought the restaurant chain for £49m.

The sale includes 54 standalone restaurants and three that sit inside Tesco stores.

The supermarket has also disposed of its 95% stake in Turkish grocery business Kipa to local rival Migros.

The sale of Kipa is expected to raise about £30m for Tesco.

The asset sales are part of attempts by Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis to revive the retail giant's fortunes. Last September, Tesco sold its South Korean business, Homeplus, for £4.2bn.

There has also been speculation that Tesco could sell its Dobbies garden centre chain and coffee shop chain Harris & Hoole in order to focus on its supermarket operations.

Announcing the sale of Giraffe, Mr Lewis said: "As we stabilise the business in the UK, we continue to focus on where we can best serve the needs of our customers, while ensuring our business remains sustainable for the long-term."

Of the Kipa deal, Mr Lewis said: "The sale of Kipa reflects the particular strategic challenge we have faced in Turkey as a small regional player in a highly competitive market.

"It removes the need for the sustained investment required to enable the business to compete independently, allowing us to focus on improving profitability in Central Europe and continuing to grow our businesses in South East Asia."

Image source, Getty Images

Analysis: Emma Simpson, business correspondent

It was just a little under three years ago that I was given a guided tour of Tesco's new look Watford store by the former CEO Philip Clarke.

It was, he said, the future of the hypermarket and encapsulated his vision of what to do with all that excess space. Giraffe was a key part of his strategy to try to pull shoppers in.

The current boss, Dave Lewis, is in the midst of doing a U-turn, not only with this family friendly chain, but potentially a number of other companies that Tesco has bought along the way.

The sale of Kipa is just the latest in a line of international disposals.

The focus now is very firmly on revitalising Tesco's core UK business, a sector where the going is tough. And it got just a bit tougher yesterday with the entry of the mighty Amazon into the UK grocery market.