The consortium of private equity investors led by CVC Capital Partners has confirmed that it has been in contact with the board of Sainsbury's with regard to a possible takeover but refused to comment on reports that a price of 550 pence (US$10.61) per share or more was discussed.

A report in the Times today (14 March) suggested that CVC had revealed draft details of its takeover offer, including indicating a price of above 550 pence.

"There have been communications between the groups," a spokesperson for CVC told just-food. "We are not revealing details of what was discussed."

The consortium, which is made up of CVC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), Blackstone and Texas Pacific Group, has until 13 April to declare its firm intention to make an offer for Sainsbury's under a ruling from the UK's Takeover Panel.

Sainsbury's shares had increased in value by 1.73% at 1.55pm (GMT) today, when they were trading at 530 pence. Before the consortium revealed its interest in the UK's third largest supermarket chain last month shares were trading at 455 pence.