Interest in Coles Group increases

Tooronga, Australia: A consortium led by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has confirmed its interest in bidding for the retailer Coles Group. Last week Coles Group received a conditional offer for A$16.47 (£6.90) a share from Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers, which valued the company at A$19.7bn (£8.3bn). In a letter to the board of Coles Group, KKR said it would be able to offer a price equal to or above Wesfarmers' proposal. "The board welcomes the participation of another major consortium interested in a whole-of-company bid as contributing to a competitive ownership review process," said Coles Group chairman Rick Allert.