Permira, Google may jointly bid for Tesco’s data unit, says source: Reuters

(Reuters) Internet search giant Google Inc (GOOGL.O) and private equity fund Permira [PERM.UL] are in talks to make a joint bid for British retailer Tesco Plc‘s (TSCO.L) customer data business, a source familiar with the matter said.

The business, Dunnhumby, which could be valued at up to 1 billion pounds ($1.59 billion), gathers and analyses data from about 1 billion shoppers globally.

Tesco appointed Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to explore strategic options for Dunnhumby after announcing a plan to slash costs and sell assets in January.

The unit has also seen interest from advertising group WPP Plc (WPP.L).

Google invested $40 million in Permira-owned start-up Renaissance Learning last year.

Tesco has also been considering selling its South Korean unit as it battles debt, an accounting scandal, and competition from Aldi Inc [ALDIEI.UL] and Lidl [LIDUK.UL].