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Tesco has announced it is likely to exit the United States after a review of its Fresh & Easy stores, which have struggled financially since its debut in 2007.

The company said it is now clear that Fresh & Easy will not deliver acceptable shareholder returns on an appropriate timeframe in its current form. Tesco said that it has had a number of partied interested in acquiring either all or part of Fresh & Easy, or in partnering with Tesco to develop the business. Tesco will provide an update on the situation in April 2013, when it presents its annual results.

In addition, the British supermarket giant announced that Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy CEO, is leaving after 30 years of service.

“I have been clear since my appointment as CEO was announced that my role is to deliver long-term value for shareholders. Following a year in which my priority for Fresh & Easy was to improve its performance, I have now made a fully-informed assessment of its longer term potential,” said Philip Clarke, Tesco CEO.

“Whilst the business has many positives, its journey to scale and acceptable returns will take too long relative to other opportunities. I have therefore decided to conduct a strategic review of Fresh & Easy, with all options under consideration.”


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