Australian grocery wholesaler Metcash has reportedly said it has received approaches from parties interested in buying the 62 stores it is acquiring from grocery retailer Foodland Associated.

Metcash, which intends to sell the 62 Foodland Action stores but keep the supply contracts, said it expects final bids for the stores in January or February, reported Reuters.

“That process has already started in terms of independent retailers sending us expressions of interest but we really have much more expressions of interest than we have stores,” Metcash chief executive Andrew Reitzer told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Inside Business programme.

“I imagine January/February will be the timeframe we’ll be getting those final bids in and decide who the winners are,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying.