Blog: Petah MarianWarren Buffett describes Tesco's US venture as "foolhardy"

Petah Marian | 3 May 2011

Tesco has attracted criticism from US billionaire Warren Buffett, the man dubbed the Sage of Ohama for his investment record.

Speaking at the annual shareholders conference for his investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett urged Tesco to take a hard look at its troubled US venture, Fresh & Easy.

The Times reported today (3 May) that the investor believes Tesco was "foolhardy" in its attempts to enter the market.

And Buffett was not alone in his remarks. Additionally, according to The Daily Telegraph, Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger said: "'I'm not critical, I just think it's difficult to be a new boy. Tesco is God Almighty in England. But you come into Southern California and you have Trader Joe's and Costco - that's tough competition."

He added: "We're huge admirers of Tesco but I do think what they're trying to do is hard. I could have told them if they'd asked me but they didn't."

Speaking at Tesco's annual results presentation a fortnight ago, new CEO Philip Clarke emphasised that losses in the division must come down this year after they widened during 2010. It attributed the increased losses to the acquisition of its two fresh food suppliers - 2 Sisters and Wild Rocket Foods.



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