UK supermarket group J Sainsbury has reportedly entered exclusive talks over the purchase of TM Group, a UK convenience store and newsagent chain, for around £230m (US$427.6m).

Sainsbury’s could announce a deal to buy the group, which owns Martins and Forbuoys stores, within a fortnight, reported the Sunday Times.

TM Group’s owners, Montagu Private Equity and Electra Partners, put the group up for sale in November 2002, the newspaper said.

The news comes less than a week after Sainsbury’s announced it had acquired Bells Stores, a chain of 54 convenience stores in northeast England.