Lowe's backs Masters JV: report

US giant extends option to sell out of $2bn partnership with Woolworths.

United States home improvement group Lowe's has extended an option to sell out of its $2 billion Masters joint venture with Woolworths Ltd, The Australian Financial Review reports.

According to the newspaper, Lowe's has pushed back an option that allows it to exit the partnership by one year, to October 2014.

The move comes as reports intensify that Lowe's is considering walking away from the partnership as tough competition in the US and slugggish expansion into Canada weigh on the group.

In the two years since the first Masters store was opened, an additional 30 have been opened across Australia.

It would cost Woolworths as much as $800 million to buy out the 33 per cent stake held by Lowe's in the joint venture, the AFR reports.