British grocery giant Tesco is mulling a buyout of the 83-outlets of Woolworths NZ, according to a report in the local New Zealand newspaper Sunday Star-Times.

Dairy Farm International, the Hong Kong-based parent company of the New Zealand grocery chain, confirmed that takeover discussions are taking place with a number of interested parties, but as yet it is unclear whether Tesco has put forward a bid.

A spokesman from Tesco commented: “We tend not to rule anything out.”

The business, which incorporates the Big Fresh stores, is valued at about NZ$600m (US$264.3m).