Coles interest drying up?

30 May 2007 — Sydney (AUS): Kohlberg Kravis Roberts KKR and CVC Asia Pacific, two of the private equity groups that were bidding for Coles Myer, have pulled out of the contest after two weeks of due diligence.

Speculation is growing among the analyst community that other interested parties may soon follow suit, paving the way for an unchallenged bid from Wesfarmers, who last month offered a bit for Coles at a value of AUD$19.7 billion ($15.5 billion).

 

Retailer Woolworths was also expected to make a bid for Coles and at one point there was talk of a possible partnership between the Australian retailer and Tesco, the UK retailer, to launch a joint bid for Coles. However no offer has since been made.