Am/pm Japan Co. owner Rex Holdings has contacted two of Japan's top convenience stores, Lawson and FamilyMart Co., over the possible sale of the country's seventh-largest convenience chain.

Sources close to the situation told just-food that Rex Holdings intends to select the buyer of its network of 1,135 stores through a competitive bidding process.

The investment group has already approached Lawson and FamilyMart, respectively the number two and number three operators in the sector, the source said.

A FamilyMart spokesman told just-food that Rex had confirmed Am/pm was up for sale. The spokesperson said FamilyMart would make a decision regarding the sale before the end of the month, after deliberating over the value of Am/pm.

Lawson declined to comment on the issue, while Rex continues to deny its convenience stores are to be sold.