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Retail giant Costco in Masters bid-group: Source

Matthew Taylor
Getty Images. Costco is part of a consortium eyeing the assets of Woolworths' troubled hardware chain, Masters, a source familiar with the talks told CNBC.

U.S. retail giant Costco (NASDAQ: COST) is part of a consortium eyeing the assets of Woolworths (ASX: WOW-AU)' troubled Australian hardware chain, Masters, a source familiar with the talks told CNBC.

The Australian newspaper reported on Wednesday that listed Australian property group Charter Hall and the Wesfarmers (ASX: WES-AU)-owned hardware chain, Bunnings, had teamed up to bid for 43 Masters sites. A source told CNBC that Costco was also part of the bid group.

Reports suggest any bid could be worth up to 1 billion Australian dollars ($770 million).

In January Woolworths said it was looking at options for Masters, including selling or winding up the underperforming business. It also said it would buy the one-third stake in Masters owned by U.S. retailer Lowe's (NYSE: LOW).

Bunnings already dominates the home improvement space in Australia and recently expanded with the acquisition of the UK's HomeBase, its first push offshore.

Costco did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the potential Masters bid.

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