Shares in the UK’s Big Food Group climbed 8% in value yesterday [Monday] after market speculation suggested recent difficult trading conditions could trigger a takeover move for the company.

Big Food Group, which owns frozen food retail chain Iceland and cash-and-carry business Booker, recently posted a slide in first-quarter like-for-like sales. The company has been suffering as a result of heightened competition in the UK retail sector following the takeover of Safeway by rival supermarket chain Morrisons.

Some traders said there had been renewed speculation that Icelandic retail group Baugur may be considering increasing its 22% stake in Big Food Group, reported Reuters.