Temasek in advanced talks to buy stake in Li Ka-shing's A S Watson Co

Temasek in advanced talks to buy stake in Li Ka-shing's A S Watson CoTemasek Holdings, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, is in advanced talks to buy a stake in billionaire Li Ka-shing's A S Watson Co, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The move comes just a week after a consortium led by Temasek has offered to buy the remaining stake that it does not already own in commodities trader Olam International, in deal valuing the Singapore-based company at $4.3 billion. (See: Temasek led consortium to buy Olam International in $4.3 bn deal)

Watson, the Hong Kong-based company behind Superdrug, ParknShop and The Perfume Shop, is planning a dual listing in London and Hong Kong later this year with plans to raise as much as £3.6billion.

Watson, which has been valued by analysts at more than $25 billion, is the largest international health, beauty & lifestyle retailer with over 11,000 stores operating 15 retail brands in 34 markets worldwide.

Watson, a subsidiary of multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, is Asia's largest health and beauty retailer under the Group's flagship brand Watsons.

Watsons operates over 4,000 stores and more than 900 pharmacies worldwide, including 10 Asian markets in China Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea, and Indonesia, as well as Turkey and Ukraine in Europe

It is also Europe's largest luxury perfumeries & cosmetics retailer with over 1,600 stores in 16 markets, operating under three retail brands, including Marionnaud, ICI Paris XL, and The Perfume Shop

Watson scrapped plans to sell its Hong Kong super market retail chain ParknShop after not receiving good offers, and said that it would instead focus on growth in China. (See: Hutchison Whampoa scraps sale of Hong Kong supermarket chain ParknShop)

Watson had expected the sale to have fetched around $3 billion to $4 billion, according to analysts.