The A$17bn (US$16.6bn) takeover bid launched by the diversified Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd  for retail combine Coles Group has been tipped for success after it was reported that rival bidder, a group led by private equity firm Texas Pacific Group (TPG), is likely to pull out.

Reuters reported that according to a source close to the discussions, the TPG consortium was close to withdrawing after talks with Woolworths over a joint bid had broken down.

If the private equity bid falters, the Wesfarmers bid would be the only one left.

However, the report went on to say that both Coles and the TPG consortium, which also includes Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group, had said no-one had withdrawn.

"Specifically, the TPG-led consortium this morning (21 June) confirmed that meetings previously arranged for today between Coles Group and the consortium's bankers were proceeding," Coles said in a statement.

A spokesman for the TPG consortium said: "We have not announced that we are withdrawing."

If the Wesfarmers bid does go through, it would be the largest ever in Australian corporate history.