The third bidder in the race to buy New Zealand-based lingerie marketer, Bendon Group, was today said to be Australian tycoon Solomon Lew.

Mr Lew, who already has several fashion industry investments including a 10 per cent stake in retail chain Country Road, has expressed an interest in Bendon in the past and is now reported to have put together a Bendon consortium with a partner.

His bid joins a proposal from Bendon managing director Hugo Venter which is backed by 26 per cent shareholder AMP Henderson and a takeover bid from Pacific Retail Group which earlier this week bought a 15.5 per cent stake in Bendon.