Second Bidder Prepares for Oz Retailer Auction

14 September 2006

SYDNEY: Australian retailer Coles Myer could be at the center of a bidding war following its rejection of an A$17 billion ($13.05bn; €10.1bn; £6.9bn) offer from a Kohlberg Kravis Roberts-led US consortium.

Hovering in the background is reported to be a second group of private equity firms, led by the UK's Catalyst, when Coles chairman Rick Allert finally announces the business is up for grabs.

The approach from the KKR consortium was dismissed as "opportunistic" by Allert last week.

The company is the second largest retailer Down Under - behind Woolworths - with more than 3,000 supermarkets, liquor outlets and gas stations. Earlier this year it sold its Myer department stores for A$1.4bn to a consortium led by another private equity firm.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff