Los Angeles-based private equity firm Yucaipa has set its sites on acquiring US$680m worth of shares in US supermarket chain Supervalu, the company said.

Yucaipa, headed by billionaire grocer Ron Burke, has said that its interest is "for investment purposes".

Yucaipa currently holds stakes in Wild Oats Markets and Pathmark stores. Supervalu became the second-largest traditional grocery chain in the US in June, when it acquired the majority of the Albertsons grocery business.