Kroger reportedly contacted fellow US grocery giant Safeway Inc to indicate its interest in buying part of the business.

Two weeks ago, Safeway admitted it was in talks over a possible sale of the company, although it did not name the interested party.

There have been reports suggesting private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management was in discussions with Safeway. Buy-out houses CVC Capital Partners and Leonard Green & Partners are also said to have shown interest in buying parts of Safeway.

Last night, the speculation intensified when Bloomberg said Kroger had “recently” expressed interest, contacting Safeway and also Cerberus about a possible deal should the private-equity firm buy the retailer.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg said Safeway would prefer to be sold as a whole.

Kroger did not return a request for comment.

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