UK market leader Tesco today (3 February) told just-food that rumours linking the supermarket chain to a bid to acquire the European operations of Dutch retailer Ahold were groundless.

Following a 2003 financial scandal, Ahold has pursued a recovery programme that has led it to withdraw from a number of markets in the South America and Asia, focusing instead on its North American and European operations.

KKR, a private equity fund, was also reportedly interested in a deal concerning Ahold’s US retail and food service interests.

A Tesco spokesperson dismissed the rumours, stating that they are “pure speculation”.