A price tag of more than €450 million (£358.6 million) is likely to be attached to Superquinn, which generated sales of €620 million (£494 million) last year and controls a 7.3 per cent share of the market in the Republic of Ireland.
Tesco, which already has a 26 per cent market share in Ireland and is the country’s second biggest grocer, is thought to be an unlikely buyer.
Asda, which has in the past been linked to Irish group Dunnes, is said to be keen to break into Ireland, where Sainsbury’s also has no presence.
Superquinn is owned by Select Retail Holdings. Former investor Bernard McNamara, a property tycoon, sold his 14.5 per cent stake to other shareholders in March.
The retailer is run by former Hamleys chief executive Simon Burke, who held a 7.5 per cent stake before McNamara’s sale.
Source: Retail Week