CVC Capital and rumoured takeover target Morrisons have maintained a stony silence on reports that the private equity group is preparing to launch a bid for the UK retailer.

According to reports, CVC has been in contact with Goldman Sachs as it prepares a takeover bid for Morrisons.

When contacted by just-food today (14 May) CVC declined to confirm its interest in the supermarket group.

Boasting an extensive property portfolio, the UK's fourth-largest retailer has caught the attention of private equity investors, sparking weeks of speculation that a buyout move could be on the cards.

A spokesperson for Morrisons said that the company had not received a formal approach. The company declined to comment further on what it termed "market rumours and speculation".

Morrisons shares were up 2.5% at 2.30pm (GMT), rising to 330.25 pence on the back of the takeover talk.