January 2, 2018 / 8:02 AM / a year ago

Marks & Spencer sells Hong Kong business to partner Al-Futtaim

The logo of Marks & Spencer is seen in front of the store on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

LONDON (Reuters) - Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) has sold its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau to its franchise partner Al-Futtaim as it retreats from international markets to focus on its core business in Britain, the company said on Tuesday.

Al-Futtaim, which already operates 72 M&S stores across 11 markets in Asia and the Middle East, purchased 27 shops in the deal, which completed on Dec. 30, M&S said.

The move follows a strategic review by M&S in November 2016, in which the company laid out plans to shut more than 80 stores at home and abroad as well as to seek joint ventures and franchise partnerships.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by David Goodman

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