Tesco has identified private equity firm MBK Partners as the preferred bidder to buy its South Korean arm, Reuters is reporting.
The troubled supermarket has been looking to offload Homeplus, which is valued at around $6bn (£3.9bn), as part of a wider attempt to bolster its bottom line. Two months ago it held a beauty parade for five private equity firms, including US-based KKR and Carlyle Group.
It received three separate binding bids in August, including ones from MBK as well as both KKR - together with Affinity Equity Partners - and Carlyle.
The newswire cites two sources "with direct knowledge of the matter". Spokespeople for both Tescos and MBK declined to comment.
Tesco's share price opened up, but fell during early morning trading.