Dutch retailer Royal Ahold has remained silent on rumours that its board of directors is divided over proposals to sell off the retailer’s US units.

Two of the company’s major shareholders, hedge funds Centaurus Capital and Paulson & Co, have called for the retailer’s core American businesses to be sold off. The retailer’s US chains generate around 70% of group sales and include the Stop & Shop, Giant Landover and Tops banners.

According to a report in The Business the board is split on the issue. “The board is divided. Everything is on the table. It is not smooth sailing, and it’s going to take a little more time,” a source close to the company told the newspaper.

In a conference call held on Thursday (7 September) to discuss second-quarter results, Ahold chief executive Anders Moberg said that the company has not entered into a dialogue with either hedge fund. He added that Ahold had not received a take-over approach from private equity firms.

However, The Business reported that a source confirmed that there is a potential buyer, thought to be a private equity group interested in making a bid for the entire business.

Ahold declined to comment on the rumours when approached by just-food this morning.