UK supermarket group Morrisons has remained quiet on rumours that it could be facing a private equity approach.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, which cited "senior city sources", the attention of private equity groups has turned to Morrisons following the failed bid for Sainsbury's from a consortium led by CVC Capital Partners.

Like Sainsbury's, Morrisons has substantial but, until recently, unappreciated property assets. According to the Sunday Times, a number of UK private equity firms and real estate organisations have been talking to financial institutions about the possibility of financing a takeover.

The UK's fourth-largest retailer declined to comment on the reports. "We do not comment on market rumour and speculation," a spokesperson for Morrisons told just food.

It is believed that Morrisons property portfolio is worth around GBP7bn (US$13.95bn). However, the retailer also declined to confirm the value of its property asserts.

Morrisons shares were up 3.17% to 339.69 pence as just-food went to press. Earlier this morning they reached a new 52-week high of 345 pence a share.