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Australia's Wesfarmers to sell Kmart Tyre and Auto Service business for US$254.9m

[MELBOURNE] Australian retailer Wesfarmers said on Monday said it would sell its Kmart Tyre and Auto Service business to Germany's Continental AG for US$254.94 million, in the midst of its biggest portfolio reshuffle in a decade.

Wesfarmers added in a statement it expected a pre-tax profit on the sale in the range of A$270 (S$270.4) million to A$275 million upon completing the deal.

The sale comes as the conglomerate divests assets as part of a massive portfolio rejig. Last week it exited the coal mining business with the A$860 million sale of its last coal asset.

The conglomerate is now set to spin off its biggest business, Australia's No.2 supermarket chain. Coles, estimated to be worth about A$16 billion.

Wesfarmers reports annual results on Aug. 15 and is expected to say that annual sales are higher than ever before. But record sales at Wesfarmers have come at the price of steep discounting.

The retailer is perhaps most exposed to competition from entrant