HONG KONG KKR & Co and TPG Capital are out of the running in the auction for Hutchison Whampoa Ltd's 0013.HK Hong Kong supermarket chain ParknShop, people close to the matter told Reuters, after their offers failed to meet the company's expectations.
The loss of two large private equity firms is a blow to the auction's competitive tension, though several other companies appear to remain in the process.
Hutchison, controlled by Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing, received at least seven offers in the first round of bidding, which were submitted in mid-August. Hutchison expects to fetch between $3-4 billion from the sale, Reuters previously reported, after launching a strategic view of the business. <ID: nL4N0GJ0BA>.
The highest private equity offer was around HK$20 billion ($2.6 billion), one of the people said.
The status of the other bidders in the auction, which a previous Reuters article said includes conglomerate China Resources Enterprise Ltd (0291.HK), Japan's Aeon Co Ltd (8267.T) and Australia's Woolworths (WOW.AX), was not immediately clear.
Established in 1973, ParknShop held a 40 percent share of the Hong Kong market for supermarkets for the year to June, according to Nielsen Homescan, with Dairy Farm on 33 percent.
ParknShop generated HK$21.7 billion ($2.8 billion) in revenue last year and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBIDTA) of HK$1.4 billion, another person familiar with the matter has previously told Reuters.
Hutchison, KKR (KKR.N) and TPG TPG.UL were not available for immediate comment.
($1 = 7.7556 Hong Kong dollars)
(Reporting by Denny Thomas and Stephen Aldred; Editing by Michael Flaherty)