US doughnut retail chain Bess Eaton has announced plans to sell its assets to bakery chain Tim Hortons, sparking interest from rival doughnut chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts.

Tim Hortons, owned by US fastfood giant Wendy’s International, has reached a tentative sale agreement with recently-bankrupt Bess Eaton, but still needs approval from the bankruptcy court and Bess Eaton’s creditors, reported Dow Jones International News.

Dunkin’ Donuts said it is looking into a possible bid for the Bess Eaton assets, and said if it does launch a bid it would “aggressively compete” for the assets. Privately held Honey Dew Donuts has also expressed interest in the company.

Rival doughnut maker Krispy Kreme said it would not consider a bid for Bess Eaton, because it was focusing on opening new stores rather than converting other doughnut companies’ stores, Dow Jones reported.

Bess Eaton has 48 stores, while Dunkin’ Donuts has more than 4,000 outlets in the US. Tim Hortons has 183 US stores, Honey Dew Donuts has more than 150 and Krispy Kreme has more than 380.

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