Google is on the edge of buying the company behind Tesco's Clubcard

Google larry pageJustin Sullivan / GettyGoogle’s Larry Page.

Google is reportedly mulling over a bid for Dunnhumby, the data arm of supermarket Tesco that runs its loyalty card programme.

Sky News reports that Google could team up with private equity group Permira, the former owner of Hugo Boss, to make a joint bid for Dunnhumby. Tesco is selling the unit as part of plans to slim down its business and recover from a disastrous accounting scandal.

Dunnhumby runs Tesco’s loyalty card programme, which tracks customers shopping habits to build up profiles of consumers and target them with relevant offers. The Clubcard was credited with helping Tesco overtake Sainsbury’s in the 1990s to become the UK’s biggest supermarket.

Given Google’s interest in data and data analytics, it’s easy to see the appeal of Dunnhumby for the company. It’s thought the sale could pull in up to £2 billion ($US3.17 billion) for Tesco. Other interested parties include Sir Martin Sorrell’s giant advertising group WPP.

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