Tesco: Here's who is eyeing up its South Korean business Homeplus

Jessica Morris
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Tesco has invited five private equity firms to bid for its South Korean unit (Source: Getty)

Embattled retailer Tesco has reportedly invited five private equity firms, and one department store chain, to bid for its South Korean unit Homeplus which is valued at around about $6bn (£3.9bn).

US-based KKR and Carlyle Group are among the potential runners and riders, according to a report by Reuters.

London-based CVC Capital Partners, Hong Kong-based Affinity Equity Partners and Asia-focused MBK Partners were also invited to bid.

And Hyundai Department Store announced yesterday that it's mulling a bid, but nothing has been decided.

Read more: What assets has Tesco sold off and what's heading to the checkout

"For any buyer, the challenge is how to turnaround the business," one person familiar with the process told Reuters.

"For private equity, it's a property play too and they can strip the real estate attached to the business and make some return."

Tesco is in the process of selling off a number of assets to fund its fightback against German discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.

Its South Korean unit has more than 400 stores and 500 franchises and serves more than six million customers every week.

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