Harvey tightlipped about Myer race

The deadline for final bids for the Myer department store business has closed with four players looking to purchase the 61-store chain, including Harvey Norman.

The bidders are understood to be the Newbridge Capital/Myer family consortium involving former David Jones chief executive Peter Wilkinson, CVC Asia Pacific, South African retailer Edgars Consolidated Stores and Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd.

According to a statement released by Coles Myer regarding the review process, an announcement is imminent.

“The Coles Myer Board has received and is considering bids for purchase of the Myer business,” the statement said.

“The Board is considering bids for the business in tandem with bids submitted for the purchase of the Myer Melbourne property. Once these bids have been considered in full, the Board will be in a position to finalise its determination of whether retention, sale or demerger of the business will create greatest value for shareholders.”

The six-storey Myer Melbourne property stretches across two city blocks and offers frontages to the valuable high traffic Bourke and Lonsdale Streets in the city’s CBD. The property is being sold separately and is estimated to be worth between $350 million and $450 million.

When Harvey Norman chairman, Gerry Harvey, was asked yesterday about his chances in the four-horse race, he told The Australian’s retail writer, Richard Gluyas: “It’s unusual for me – keeping quiet – but I’m not saying anything.”

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