Tesco has started a programme to buy back shares with a value of up to £500 million.
The move comes after the supermarket published its financial results earlier this month, announcing that it could now afford the multi-year buyback scheme.
Tesco’s chief executive said share buybacks were a key tool to fend off private equity (PE) advances, that have become common in the grocery sector.
Big 4 grocer’s Asda and Morrisons have experienced PE bids over the last year.
Citigroup will repurchase shares on Tesco’s behalf.
The supermarket chain will buy back the entire stake by October 2022.
“We’ve had a strong six months; sales and profit have grown ahead of expectations, and we’ve outperformed the market,” Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy said.
“With various different challenges currently affecting the industry, the resilience of our supply chain and the depth of our supplier partnerships has once again been shown to be a key asset.”