Eight unnamed parties have issued non-binding bids for a stake in Mercator, Slovenia's largest food retailer.

Eight local banks are selling their jointly-owned 36.35% stake in the company. The banks had confiscated the stake from the failed Infond and Istranenz Holdings.

"In the next round, a shortlist of bidders that are expected to be able to perform due diligence in March will be made," Arkas – the company overseeing the sale - said in a statement.

It is understood that the shortlist of bidders is likely to comprise the five best bids. 

One possible bidder is state-owned investment fund KAD. In December, KAD indicated it hoped to buy a stake of up to 10% and was in talks with international investment funds over a joint move.

When contacted by just-food, Arkas said that the names of the parties interested in Mercator was to remain confidential.