Retail giant could be target of takeover plans

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Global private equity groups are eyeing one of Australia's largest retailers for takeover, it has been reported.

According to The Australian, Blackstone and The Carlyle Group are believed to have approached supermarket giant Woolworths regarding a potential $30bn takeover. The Australian reported that the firms contacted Woolworths and asked to engage, but that no deal eventuated. It was also unclear whether Blackstone and Carlyle were working in concert in the bid.

 The news comes after reports in October that Blackstone Group, KKR & Co. and TPG Capital made preliminary approaches to Woolworths to express interest in Big W. According to a Bloomberg report, discussions on a buyout were not to begin in earnest until a replacement was found for departing CEO Grant O'Brien.

The retail giant has found itself in profit trouble lately, warning in October that net profits for the half could fall by as much as 35%.