Australia's Woolworths CEO: Has Had Talks on Coles

Woolworths, Australia's largest retailer, said on Tuesday it has had discussions with other parties about its interest in some of rival retailer Coles Group's assets.

Woolworths said it has lodged an expression of interest for Coles' general merchandise assets.

Woolworths Chief Executive Michael Luscombe said the expression of interest was only on Woolworths' own behalf "at this stage". However, it could join with another group in the future.

"We have had and continue to have discussions with a variety of interested parties, but that's the extent of progress so far," Luscombe told Reuters in an interview.

There has been speculation Woolworths could team up with a Kohlberg Kravis Roberts-led consortium of private equity firms bidding for all of Coles.

Luscombe said Woolworths, which is also interested in New Zealand's The Warehouse Group, has the financial capacity to make more than one acquisition. "We have room in our balance sheet to make the acquisitions that we would potentially like to make," he said.