Tesco in bid rumour

Rumours in the stockmarket suggest that Tesco is poised to buy Dutch retail group Royal Ahold to buttress its expansion plans in the US.

Ahold owns the Stop & Shop and Giant supermarkets in the US and acquiring control of the parent firm could remove some of the risk from Tesco's development of Fresh & Easy in the western USA.

The logic of such a deal has been pointed out by Peter Brockwell and John David Roeg, both analysts at investment house ING. Fresh & Easy is still loss-making and Ahold presents an attractive opportunity to acquire an undervalued asset at a low point in the US consumer cycle. Tesco could offer a possible E12.80 (11.40) a share bid which would give Ahold a market price tag of around E15bn (13.5bn).