Deals and IPOs

Costco in consortium eyeing assets of Woolworths' hardware chain: Source

A Costco store in Richmond, Calif., March 6, 2014.
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U.S. retail giant Costco is part of a consortium eyeing the assets of Woolworths' troubled Australian hardware chain, Masters, a source familiar with the talks told CNBC.

The Australian newspaper reported on Wednesday that listed Australian property group Charter Hall and the Wesfarmers-owned hardware chain, Bunnings, had teamed up to bid for 43 Masters sites. A source told CNBC that Costco was also part of the bid group.

Reports suggest any bid could be worth up to 1 billion Australian dollars ($770 million).

In January Woolworths said it was looking at options for Masters, including selling or winding up the underperforming business. It also said it would buy the one-third stake in Masters owned by U.S. retailer Lowe's.

Bunnings already dominates the home improvement space in Australia and recently expanded with the acquisition of the UK's HomeBase, its first push offshore.

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