UK supermarket group J Sainsbury is reported to have arranged a team of advisers to help it defend itself from any potential hostile takeover bids.

The struggling retailer has been widely touted as a possible takeover target. A report in the Wall Street Journal claimed the company has hired Morgan Stanley and UBS to help form a defence strategy, reported Reuters.

Earlier this month Sainsbury's announced its plans to drive profit growth through increased sales rather than its previous strategy of focusing on cutting costs. The company plans to grow sales by £2.5bn (US$4.5bn) over three years to the end of 2007/08 and restore its brand proposition of quality food at fair prices.