Former Asda executives Allan Leighton and Archie Norman have been linked with a possible takeover of Sainsbury's by a private equity consortium.

On Friday private equity groups CVC Capital Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and the Blackstone Group admitted they were at the "preliminary stages of assessing Sainsbury's".

Leighton, who was Asda CEO from 1996 to 1999, and Green, who was CEO from 1991 to 1996, have been approached to lead the bid for Sainsbury's, according to reports in the Mail on Sunday.

The consortium is understood to be keen to expand Sainsbury's non-food offer of clothing, electricals and homewares, according to reports in The Times.