Former Asda chairman Archie Norman was a busy man this week if press reports are to believed.

Now based in Canada, Norman was linked to a £1.3bn private equity bid for Brakes - in the same week that a senior position at Australian supermarket Coles beckoned.

Brakes' private equity owner Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has been preparing financial information to send to potential buyers.

Aussie conglomerate Wesfarmers confirmed it had held talks with Norman about its proposal to buy Coles. Wesfarmers boss Richard Goyder said Norman would have a senior advisory role in the investment vehicle it is setting up to buy the group.

Tesco is likely to compete against Wesfarmers as it has signed a confidentiality agreement with Coles and entered the process of due diligence.