UK clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer has restarted talks with New York supermarket operator Gristede's about the future of M&S subsidiary Kings Supermarkets.

M&S has been engaged in a campaign to scale back its overseas operations for several years, and has had difficulty finding a buyer for the 29-store Kings chain. An agreement with US convenience store chain D'Agostino collapsed recently as the latter group was unable to secure funding.

M&S is hoping to sell its remaining US asset to Gristede's for approximately £96m (US$150.6m), having acquired Kings for £70m in 1988. Gristede's has always had an interest in Kings but was not confident of finding sufficient financial backing. However, the group now believes it can secure funding, reports the Evening Standard.