Private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) has reportedly abandoned its takeover bid for Australian retailer Coles Group.

According to local reports. KKR has pulled out of the private equity consortium vying for ownership of the struggling food retailer late yesterday (28 May) after the withdrawal of consortium partner CVC over the weekend.

Following CVC and KKR's departure, four buyout funds reportedly still remain in the consortium - Texas Pacific Group, Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.

Shares in Coles fell 4.32% to close at A$16.63 today as hopes of a hotly contested auction process faded.

KKR's withdrawal has cleared the way for Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers, which has offered A$16.47 a share for the retailer.