Neither Publix nor Ahold have made a formal bid yet

Neither Publix nor Ahold have made a formal bid yet

US supermarket group Publix is reported to be interested in purchasing regional US retailer Harris Teeter.

According to Bloomberg, Publix will join Dutch retailer Ahold in making a bid for the retailer later this month. Ahold was last month reported to be interested in placing a bid for the 200-store company.

Harris Teeter last month confirmed it was exploring a possible sale. It said it was approached by two private-equity firms that had expressed an interest in purchasing the company.

Neither Publix nor Ahold have made a formal bid yet, sources told the publication.

Harris Teeter operates around 200 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and Washington DC.

First-round bids are expected to be placed mid-March or later, Bloomberg reported.

A spokesperson for Publix said the company did not comment on rumour or speculation.