Tesco has moved a step closer to market entry in Turkey after shareholders at acquisition target Kipa agreed in principle to proceed with a deal.
Kipa operates five hypermarkets in western Turkey, and has "well developed plans" for additional stores in Ankara and Istanbul.
Nothing has been finalised however, stressed a Tesco spokesman. "The deal is not done, but it's a positive step."
Tesco would probably see Kipa as a classic seedcorn' acquisition to get a foothold in the country before building its own hypermarkets, said analysts.
Carrefour and Metro are already in Turkey, and Casino and Wal-Mart are rumoured to be eyeing up opportunities in the market.

n latin blow
Carrefour's annual group sales fell 1.1% due to the effects of exchange rates as well as difficult trading conditions at its South American businesses.
Group turnover excluding VAT was E68.8bn, down from E69.5bn last year, with sales down 36.2% in the Americas. In its home market sales grew 2.2% and elsewhere in Europe they rose 6.6%.
Pre-tax profit rose 14.6% to E2.5bn in 2002.
The French retailer said its strategy in the coming years would focus on organic growth and the development of all its formats, notably with the reinforcement of its European base. "The objective is to come back over the medium term and on constant exchange rates to a sales growth of 7%," said a spokesman.

n legal block
Nestlé's proposed $2.8bn takeover of US largest ice cream manufacturer Dreyer's has hit a legal block with the US competition watchdog.
The US Federal Trade Commission ­ which voted unanimously for an injunction to block the acquisition ­ said it would oppose the deal on the grounds it would eliminate competition and raise prices.
Director of the FTC's competition bureau Joe Simons said: "The superpremium ice cream market is highly concentrated and this will reduce the number of significant competitors from three to two."
However, Simons added that further negotiations were still possible.

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