2 May 2007 — Sydney (AUS): Wesfarmers has been unsuccessful in an attempt to purchase more Coles shares and up its current 12.8 percent stake in the company, reports the Australian press. It is understood that Wesfarmers was offering to buy additional stock for AUD$17.25 ($13.65) per share but it failed in its efforts.
The consortium Wesfarmers belongs to has bid AUD$19.7 billion for Coles. Other members include Permira, a European private-equity group, the Australian Macquarie Bank and Pacific Equity Partners.
Tesco is also rumoured to be considering a partnership with Woolworths to bid for Coles. If the retailers were to be successful in their joint bid it is thought that Tesco would take control of the supermarket chain and Woolworths, the biggest retailer in Australia, would take control of the Officeworks and Target divisions.