Bids have been received from four major retailers operating in Brazil for the retail group Atacadao according to a report in the Brazilian business newspaper Valor Economico.

According to the report, Wal-Mart, Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD), Carrefour and Makro have all submitted non-binding offers for Atacadao which is valued at around US$1bn.

Atacadao operates 33 stores across eight states in Brazil, with almost half of its outlets in the wealthy Sao Paulo area. The company recorded revenues of BRL5bn (US$2.2bn) in 2005.

The Atacadao auction is likely to be completed by mid-July. Two other prominent retail groups, Costco and the Chilean retailer Cencosud, have also been mentioned as possible bidders for the company, but as yet neither has made a preliminary offer.

If either Wal-Mart or Carrefour were successful in a bid for Atacadao, one or other would overtake CBD as Brazil’s leading retailer.