Thai retail giant enters race for ParknShop

Thai retail giant enters race for ParknShop

Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Group, the owner of Thai retailer CP All, has reportedly submitted a first-round bid for Hong Kong based supermarket ParknShop.

ParknShop was put on the block by Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, which confirmed they were "considering strategic options" for the business at the end of July.

According to a Bloomberg report, citing unnamed sources, Charoen Pokphand is one of the bidders eyeing the supermarket chain.

Charoen Pokphand is the parent of CP All, the Thai operator of 7-Eleven. The company has signalled its ambition to grow its international footprint and expand in the ASEAN countries. As part of this, and a broader drive to provide a growing market for Thai exports, the company recently acquired wholesaler Siam Makro Public Company Ltd.

Charoen Pokphand chairman and CEO Dhanin Chearavanont has been an active advocate of growing Thai exports. Earlier this year Chearananont met with UK Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss trade and investment opportunities in the agriculture and food sector in Thailand.

Chinese retailers China Resources Enterprise and Sun Art Retail Group are believed to be involved in the auction process alongside a number of other foreign strategic buyers, including Japan's Aeon and Australia's Woolworths Ltd.

Hutchison Whampoa has remained silent on the progress of the auction process, declining to comment on "market rumour". Charoen Pokphand was unavailable for comment at time of press.