Speculation has increased that Asda is considering an approach for Somerfield.

It has been revealed that it has appointed Lazard to explore a possible offer for Somerfield, Britain’s fifth biggest grocery retailer.

Any deal involved Asda is likely to face scrutiny from the Competitions Commission, however some analysts believe that it may only be interested in a percentage of the Somerfield estate.

Asda may be looking at around 60 Somerfield stores, which it could convert into its George clothing or Asda Living homeware stores.