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Hutchison takes U-turn over ParknShop

Hutchison Whampoa says it is scrapping plans to sell its supermarket chain ParknShop.

The Hong Kong-based company, owned by Asia’s richest man Li Ka-Shing, says it will focus on Chinese expansion instead.

Hutchison had in July decided to sell ParknShop, with 345 stores in Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau, for $4 billion. The sale was said to be part of a strategy to trim assets to grow profits in difficult times. ParknShop is Hong Kong’s second largest supermarket chain in terms of market share, behind Dairy Farm International Holdings’ Wellcome.

In August, the chain attracted initial bids from companies including China Resources Enterprises, Sun Art Retail Group, Aeon and Australian supermarket operators Woolworths and Wesfarmers.

“The company has decided not to pursue a private sale of its ParknShop business at this time and will continue to implement an accelerated growth strategy with a particular focus in mainland China,” said Hutchison Whampoa in a short statement.

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