The future of Chinese supermarkent chain Times Ltd is up in the air after the retailer admitted it had started a review of the business and invited potential suitors to lodge their interest in the company.


Shares in the retailer, which operates in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, were suspended earlier today (25 August) ahead of an announcement by the company.


This afternoon, a statement was filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in which Times said it being advised on the strategic review by HSBC.


“The strategic review is at a preliminary stage and, whilst initial expressions of interest have been received from certain parties as part of the first phase of the strategic review, the process remains ongoing. There is no assurance that any transaction will materialise or be consummated,” Times said.


CS International Investment is the majority shareholder in Times, holding just under 73% of the business. The retailer said it was unsure at this stage whether there would be a change in majority control.


“Since the company is considering a number of proposals from different parties which are still in preliminary stages, the company cannot at this stage state whether any transaction which may arise will result in a change of control of the company,” Times said.


Earlier this month, Wumart Stores, the biggest retailer in Beijing, struck a HK$1.65bn (US$212.9m) share deal with private equity firms TPG and Hony Capital.