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    Tesco Moves Closer to a Fresh & Easy Exit

    Options include selling to a rival, selling a stake or shuttering the business.

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Selling to a rival, selling a stake in the business, or shuttering the company and liquidating its assets are the options Tesco plc is weighing for its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain.

    Tesco Chief Executive Philip Clarke is expected to travel to the United States this coming week to try and strike a deal that will allow the company to exit its money-losing Fresh & Easy business, The Telegraph reported.

    United Kingdom-based Tesco opened Fresh & Easy in 2007. The chain, which emphasizes freshly prepared meals to go, currently operates 200 stores in Arizona, California and Nevada.

    It is estimated that Fresh & Easy lost more than $1 billion in the past five years. As CSNews Online previously reported, Tesco initiated a strategic review of Fresh & Easy in December, at the same time as it announced that Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason was leaving the company.

    According to The Telegraph, Tesco reportedly held talks with rivals Aldi and Trader Joe’s about selling Fresh & Easy. However, a breakup of the business is considered the most likely option.

    Clark promised to provide an update on April 17 when Tesco reports its full-year fiscal earnings results.

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