There is "compelling strategic logic" behind the possibility of UK retailer Tesco launching a takeover bid on smaller Dutch peer Ahold, analysts have suggested.

In a research note, analysts at brokerage firm ING argued that Tesco could be tempted to make a move on Ahold due to its "perceived undervaluation" and the foothold the company would provide Tesco with in the US.

"There is compelling strategic logic for a deal with Ahold. The US market is too big for Tesco to ignore, yet any attempt to increase the scale of Fresh & Easy could prove very risky. Ahold should be viewed as a one-off opportunity to acquire an undervalued asset at a low point in the US consumer cycle," the analysts wrote.

The analysts suggested that Tesco would be able to finance a takeover deal valued at about EUR15bn (US$22.2bn). The retail group would then be able to realise synergies of about GBP493m, meaning that - according to ING - Tesco's 2011 pre-tax profit could increase by more that 31% while EPS could be upped by 14%.

This is not the first time that Tesco has been linked to a possible takeover of Ahold - with rumours that the UK group would swoop in on the Netherlands-based supermarket operator following its 2003 financial collapse.