Retail entrepreneur John Lovering has confirmed he is part of a consortium interested in bidding for the Somerfield supermarket group.
Somerfield has 588 stores in the UK
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.
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.