Owners of the supermarket chain Somerfield are reportedly considering selling the business.
The Bristol-based company has received several expressions of interest and has appointed Citigroup to manage the process.
It is understood that among the interested buyers are other leading supermarkets. A spokesman for Somerfield declined to comment.
There are 900 Somerfield stores in total with plans to build 250 more.
In 2005, Somerfield was sold for £1.1bn to a private equity consortium led by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz and including Apax Partners and Barclays Capital.
A year later, the company's Kwik Save brand was sold off for an undisclosed sum.
A Christmas trading statement released on Thursday showed like-for-like sales at Somerfield, excluding fuel, for the six weeks ending 5 January went up almost 5%.
Chief executive Paul Mason, said: "Somerfield has enjoyed an exceptional Christmas.
"Our strong sales growth reflects the turnaround in the business and our clear focus on delivering the local grocery offer our customers want.
"Our smaller stores performed particularly well, underlining the strength of our market position focused on convenience, the fastest-growing area of the food retail market.
"Over the past two years, our strategy has been to reshape, regenerate and grow Somerfield. We are focused on providing our customers with the best availability, the freshest product, the friendliest service locally and being the easiest local store to shop."