Tesco has bought the Makro Cash & Carry business in Malaysia, it said today (6 December).

The deal for eight Makro stores will almost double the UK retailer's business in the country, adding an additional 800,000 square feet to the 14 hypermarkets and express stores it currently owns.

Tesco said it will now come close to market leader Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International, which operates the Giant hypermarkets.

Dutch firm SHV Holdings, which owned 65% of Makro Malaysia, put the business up for sale in September after receiving a number of 'interested' offers.

While Malaysia is a much smaller market than neighbours China or Vietnam, Tesco's stores there have seen strong growth since it entered in 2002. It reported like-for-like growth of 17% to GBP104m (US$204m) in the first half of 2006. The company is also eyeing expansion into India.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is subject to regulatory approval.