Four bidders reportedly remain in the race to acquire Hong Kong retailer ParknShop – with regional retailers and private-equity firms said to be out of the running.

According to reports, Australian retailer Woolworths Ltd, Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group, Japanese retailer AEON and Chinese firm China Resources Enterprise are still in the running to acquire the Hong Kong based supermarket chain, Dow Jones Newswires has reported.

ParknShop was put on the block by Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, which confirmed they were “considering strategic options” for the business at the end of July.

Private-equity interests KKR & Co. and TPG Capital had origionally been linked to the sale process, along with strategic buyers including Sun Art Retail Group.

Hutchison Whampoa has declined to comment on the progress of the sale. A spokesperson for the group declined to comment on “market speculation”.

Likewise, a spokesperson for Charoen Pokphand Group, which owns Thai retailer CP All, told just food: “Charoen Pokphand Group does not have any comment regarding the acquisition of ParknShop.”

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Woolworths, Aeon and CRE were not immediately available for comment.