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KKR, TPG potential buyers of Big W

Global buyout firms, including KKR & Co and TPG Capital, have made preliminary approaches to Woolworths to express interest in its Big W discount store chain, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The private-equity firms have held early talks with Woolworths, as the retailer reviews its operations after its chief executive officer announced retirement plans in June, according to the people. The Big W chain could be valued at about AUD1.5 billion (USD1.09b), one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Discussions may not begin in earnest until a replacement for chief executive Grant O’Brien comes on board, and there’s no certainty that Woolworths will be willing to part with the business, the people said.