Retail giant Ahold has given backing to local peer Sperwer Group in its bid to buy Dutch retailer Super de Boer.

Ahold, the Dutch retail group behind the Albert Heijn chain, said today (7 October) it would buy around 40 Super de Boer stores if Sperwer’s bid for the business was successful.

The agreement is the latest twist in the speculation surrounding the future of Super de Boer, which has so far attracted two bids – one from Sperwer and one from privately-owned Dutch retailer Jumbo.

Earlier this week, Jumbo said it had won backing from another Dutch retailer, C1000 owner Schuitema, for its own EUR480m bid. 

Schuitema had been linked to a joint offer with Sperwer but decided not to bid for Super de Boer.

However, Schuitema said it would acquire 80 Super de Boer stores if Jumbo’s bid for the business was successful.

Ahold said that Sperwer had today won permission from Super de Boer’s management and supervisory boards to start due diligence.

French retail giant Groupe Casino owns a 57% stake in Super de Boer.