UK food retailer Somerfield has revealed that it has received a takeover approach but declined to give details as to who the potential suitor was.

News of the possible bid sent the retailer’s shares soaring. Somerfield said the approach was made last Friday, but it was uncertain as to whether it would ultimately lead to a bid as a number of conditions were attached, reported Reuters.

The retailer, which operates 600 Somerfield and 700 Kwik Save stores, said a further announcement would be made when appropriate.

Market speculation focused on the current Safeway bidders as potential Somerfield suitors, including Philip Green, Wal-Mart’s Asda and J Sainsbury, as well as Icelandic retail group Baugur.

Somerfield, which has a network of smaller neighbourhood stores, has around 5.5% of the total UK food retail market.

The company is in the midst of a five-year recovery programme that includes stores refurbishments and promotion reductions.

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By GlobalData