Tesco South Korea Homeplus

Three of the world’s biggest private equity groups are considering a bid for Tesco’s £6 billion South Korean empire, which the supermarket giant has put up for sale, according to The Evening Standard. KKR and Carlyle, the US private equity firms, have been invited to bid for the Asian business, which trades as Homeplus, while London-based CVC Capital Partners has also been asked to bid (Independent).

Meanwhile, Tesco is the UK’s least favourite grocer according to a study by Market Force. In the latest blow to the troubled supermarket, Tesco ranked at the bottom of a list of eight grocery chains that included, in ascending order, the Co-operative, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose in the top spot. (The Telegraph)

The boss of Britain’s biggest food manufacturer has apologised a second time for mistakes made in its “pay-to-stay” arrangements with suppliers last year, saying said that it now had “conventional arrangements” in place. Gavin Darby, the chief executive of Premier Foods, wrote in the annual report, published yesterday: “At the time, I said publicly that we made mistakes in implementing some elements of our Invest for Growth programme and we changed it accordingly.” (The Times £)

Procter & Gamble’s auction of its beauty assets is reaching the final stages, with five companies making binding bids for different parts of its hair, cosmetics and fragrance businesses, insiders said. Henkel, the German consumer goods group, and KKR, the private equity group, are competing for P&G’s haircare business, which includes the Wella and Clairol brands. (The Financial Times)

As The Grocer reported yesterday, Marks & Spencer is drawing up plans to launch a loyalty card called Sparks that would provide tailor-made offers to customers based on their tastes and spending habits. (The Telegraph)

A share issue offered by takeaway app Just Eat to fund the takeover of Australian rival Menulog generated hefty leftovers, with 60 per cent of new shares left untouched by its existing investors. Some analysts suggested the group had misjudged demand and market volatility as companies in the sector charge to gobble up rivals at often eye-watering multiples. (The Financial Times)