Morrisons, Asda and a clutch of private-equity firms have made takeover bids for UK frozen-food retailer Iceland Foods.

Failed Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir have put a combined 77% of Iceland up for auction and initial offers for the retailer have valued it at GBP1.3-1.5bn (US$2.05-2.36bn), The Financial Times reported.

Morrisons, the UK's fourth-largest retailer, and Asda, the country's number two grocer, had been touted as potential bidders for Iceland.

Should they prove successful, it is likely they would have to sell some Iceland stores to alleviate competition concerns. Morrisons and Asda could instead only look to buy groups of Iceland stores, rather than the whole business. Both retailers declined to comment when contacted by just-food today.

Private-equity firms Bain Capital, BC Partners, Blackstone and TPG are also reported to have made offers for Iceland. Officials for Bain, BC Partners and TPG could not provide immediate comment, while Blackstone could not be reached for a reaction.

Iceland CEO and founder Malcolm Walker, who, along with management owns the remaining 23% in the retailer, was understood not to be willing to make a first-round bid, although he does want to take control of the business. Walker reportedly benefits from a clause in a shareholder agreement that would see him only have to match the highest bid from a rival to secure the shares.

Last year, Walker made an offer of GBP1bn to buy Landsbanki and Glitnir's stake, which was rejected.

He could, as the process continues, look to team up with other potential interested parties, including the trade and private-equity bidders.