Tesco has agreed to sell its US grocery chain Fresh & Easy to investment firm Yucaipa.

Yucaipa will acquire more than 150 stores as well as its Riverside distribution and production facilities. Tesco will loan the new business approximately £80m secured against the Riverside Campus facility.

More than 4,000 Fresh & Easy staff will move across to the new business. The 50 stores not included in the transaction will close over the coming weeks.

The cost of store closures, loan and other expenses are expected to be no more than £150m. This comes on top of the £1bn bill Tesco has already revealed it faces for its US exit.

Tesco revealed earlier this year that it was to sell Fresh & Easy ending its six year stint in the US. Fresh & Easy was launched under former chief executive Sir Terry Leahy in 2007. 

Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said: “The decision we are announcing today represents the best outcome for Tesco shareholders and Fresh & Easy’s stakeholders. It offers us an orderly and efficient exit from the US market, while protecting the jobs of more than 4,000 colleagues at Fresh & Easy.”

The sale to Yucaipa is expected to complete within three months.