Tesco, Britain’s leading supermarket chain, is moving into Japan with the purchase of local operator C Two-Network.

The group has offered £139 million ($231m; €197m) in cash for the 78-store food retailer and wholesaler after looking for a way into the Japanese market for three years. The pact is expected to be finalised next month.

“C Two-Network is a great success in Japan and will provide Tesco with an excellent opportunity to enter a large and unconsolidated market with potential for growth,” commented Sir Terry Leahy, the British group’s chief executive.

Tesco – which already operates in Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia and South Korea – now plans to open between 10 and 20 stores in Japan every year.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff