Tesco hands out £193m to settle accounting scandal

Tesco’s latest payout over an accounting scandal saw the supermarket hand over more to shareholders than the fraud watchdog.

According to The Times, Britain’s biggest retailer paid £193 million to settle claims brought last year.

“Given that the legal timeframe for bringing a claim has now elapsed, no further related claims can be brought by shareholders,” Tesco said yesterday in its half-year results.

Around £2 billion was wiped off its market value in 2014 when the grocer admitted overstating profits by £326 million.

READ MORE: Tesco denies ‘defensive’ move against private equity

It has been hit by multiple claims from shareholders, including Allianz and the Church of England pension fund, seeking compensation for the share price fall.

The biggest beneficiary from the recent settlement is thought to be Norges Bank, the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund.

Its payout exceeds the £129 million charge Tesco agreed as part of a plea bargain with the Serious Fraud Office.

The watchdog also prosecuted three executives, who were acquitted of all charges in 2019.

Tesco faces further litigation costs after being sued by the buyers of Homeplus, its South Korean chain.

It sold the stores to private equity firm MBK for £4.2 billion in 2015, months after the fallout from its dodgy accounting saw it slide to a record loss.

The supermarket will pay out £119 million later in the financial year after “some findings of liability” were made against it in September.

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