US regional supermarket operator Bi-Lo has remained silent over reports it is planning an initial public offering later this year.

The retailer is understood to have hired Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank to lead the deal, Reuters reported today (21 August).

Bi-Lo, majority-owned by investment vehicle Lone Star Funds, has been expanding its footprint in recent years after applying for Chapter 11 protection in 2009.

In May, Bi-Lo struck a deal to buy US chains Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid’s from Belgian retailer Delhaize Group.

In 2011, it bought supermarket chain Winn-Dixie Stores for US$560m.

A spokesperson for Bi-Lo, however said there was “nothing for the company to comment on at this time”.

Bi-Lo applied for Chapter 11 in 2009 after the credit crunch prevented the retailer from refinancing its debt. It sold assets to Delhaize and emerged from bankruptcy a year later after securing financing from parties including Lone Star.