Talks over the sale of Carrefour Korea are thought to include five to six potential acquirers, according to a local report today (20 March).

Reports last week suggested that Carrefour may be considering withdrawing altogether from the Korean market, where its discount stores are reported to have under-performed compared to national chains. 

Carrefour has so far refused to confirm or deny this speculation.

However, the Maeil Business Newspaper has reported today that Carrefour Korea has named preferred bidders including Lotte Shopping Co’s discount store Lotte Mart, SamsungTesco’s Home Plus, Shinsegae‘s E-Mart, Hyundai Department Store Co and Wal-Mart Stores’ Korean unit.

The report added – citing unnamed sources – that talks were for the entire business with a possible price tag of KRW1.8 trillion (US$1.85 billion).