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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April, 2003, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Somerfield suitors revealed
Somerfield store
Somerfield has 588 stores in the UK
Retail entrepreneur John Lovering has confirmed he is part of a consortium interested in bidding for the Somerfield supermarket group.

Press reports had already identified Mr Lovering as a possible suitor, following Somerfield's announcement on Tuesday that it had received a tentative takeover.

The consortium also includes Bob Mackenzie, the former head of National Car Parks.

In a short statement the two confirmed their interest and said a proposal had been submitted to Somerfield "which may or may not lead to an offer being made".

Shares in Somerfield jumped by more than 20% on Tuesday following news of the bid interest.

On Thursday, the shares were up a penny at 90.75p during morning trade.

Bid interest

Mr Lovering is the chairman of clothing retailer Peacocks, and a former chairman of both DIY chain Homebase and Odeon Cinemas.

His consortium is reported to value the Somerfield group - which includes the Kwik Save chain - at about 500m.

On Thursday, the Reuters news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying the consortium had no intention of launching a hostile bid.

The retail group owns 588 Somerfield stores and 686 Kwik Save outlets.

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15 Apr 03  |  Business
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13 Nov 02  |  Business

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