US supermarket group Albertsons has reportedly attracted a preliminary takeover bid from rival grocery retailer Kroger.

Kroger submitted a takeover bid for the entire Albertsons company, while several consortiums of private equity firms have also expressed interest, Reuters reported, citing sources close to the situation.

However, if Albertsons were to accept a takeover offer from Kroger, the merger could face scrutiny from competition regulators.

Albertsons said in September that it was exploring a possible sale of the company, amid fierce competition from discount retailers such as Wal-Mart. The company operates Albertsons, Acme and Shaws supermarkets, and Osco Drug and Sav-on Drugs pharmacies.

Analysts say Albertsons could fetch more than US$10bn, reported Reuters.