Retailer Tesco has invited about six firms including KKR & Co and Carlyle Group to bid for its South Korean unit, valued at about $6bn, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Tesco and its advisor HSBC sent out an information package with the unit's financial details last week, asking the firms to submit indicative bids later this month, the people added.
CVC Capital Partners, Affinity Equity Partners and MBK Partners were also invited to bid, they said, declining to be identified as the sale process has not been formally made public.
A spokesman for Tesco's South Korean unit said the company does not comment on rumours. KKR, Carlyle and MBK declined to comment, while CVC and Affinity did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Tesco hired HSBC to explore a sale of its South Korean operations, sources told Reuters last week.
Earlier on Tuesday, Hyundai Department Store Co Ltd said it is considering a bid for the unit.