COLES Myer shares reached a record high of $14.80, before closing at $14.62 last Friday, as speculation ran rife about a possible takeover bid by American giant Wal-Mart. The speculation followed the recent (and rejected) conditional bid of $14.50 per share by a consortium of private equity firms, led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. The story originated with corporate news and comment website Crikey, which cited sources close to the Coles Myer group saying Wal-Mart directors had arrived in Melbourne to bid for the company and oversee a carve up of its retail assets. However, the current speculation is hardly new. Coles Myer denied any interest by the American group back in July, following the announcement of restructuring plans for the group’s underperforming Myer stores. Coles will post its annual results today.
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