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Embattled Tesco builds £2.5bn war chest

  • 30/09/2014
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Embattled Tesco builds £2.5bn war chest
Tesco has created £2.5bn in credit reserves as senior management seek to deal with a £250m accounting error, falling shares, and the potential for ratings downgrades.

The UK’s biggest retailer has agreed a credit facility with a number of banks, according to Sky News. One banking insider to the deal described it as an “insurance policy”. The firm is understood to hope it will allow for independent funding, despite its present accounting mess.

Tesco made the deal last week, amid revelations it had overstated its estimated half-year profits by £250m.

The firm, which now faces investigation from the Financial Conduct Authority, also admitted its chief financial officer had not been working for the final six months of his contract. A number of ratings agencies have put Tesco on review for possible downgrades.

The credit facility will temporarily replace an existing arrangement of a similar size. While it is more expensive, the new deal will not be jeopardised by a credit rating downgrade.

It comes after Tesco reportedly abandoned a separate negotiation with roughly 15 banks.

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