Chilean retailer Cencosud has said it has made a preliminary offer to buy Argentine supermarket chain Disco, a subsidiary of beleaguered Dutch retail giant Ahold.

"We have made a nonbinding offer for Disco. We are waiting to see how the process unfolds," Cencosud director Laurence Golborne was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Golborne did not give financial details of the offer and said it was only preliminary and therefore did not imply a commitment to buy.

Cencosud has already acquired Ahold's Chilean supermarket chain Santa Isabel.

Disco has 236 outlets and is Argentina's second-largest supermarket chain with a 19% market share.